In a recent blog post on Blue Planet Green Living entitled Computer Recycling – The Downside of Upgrading, Caryn Green discusses many of the hurdles we face as an electronics recycler. She does a good job of highlighting the major issues – overseas dumping, identity theft and data privacy, organized crime elements, and the environmental impact. However, even with all those potential issues, we still run into potential clients that say “I will not pay for electronic recycling!”
Many of our competitors offer “free” recycling services, but provide little to no proof that the equipment was handled in an environmentally safe manner. There have been numerous examples of companies that claim to recycle your gear, but simply pack it in containers where it will be dumped overseas. After investigating electronic waste and how to properly dispose of it, we have concluded that it cannot be done properly for free. Whether those fees are hidden in higher taxes for municipal electronic destruction services, higher equipment costs to cover fees charged directly to the manufacturers, fees offset by revenues generated by other services (like resale), or fees charged direct to individuals and businesses, responsible electronics recycling will not be free.
In her post, Caryn lists several websites, like e-stewards.org and electronicstakeback.com that research the business practices of electronics recyclers and list those that meet their standards. In addition, there is a wealth of information at these sites discussing the electronic recycling issues at length. EPC is a member of both organizations, and our policy is zero landfill / zero export of our recycled electronics. Even if you choose another company for your electronics recycling services, please take the time to choose one that makes responsible recycling a priority.