Electronic Waste Recycling

Recycling electronics involves disassembling devices and separating all parts and materials that are reusable. Computer hardware materials such as plastics, aluminum, silicon, iron can be recycled for use in constructing new computer components. Some digital devices contain valuable materials like gold, copper, platinum, silver and palladium that may be incorporated in non-electronic devices.

Ewaste recycling not only reduces contamination of soil, groundwater and the atmosphere but also keeps the cost of making electronic devices lower, a benefit that manufacturers can pass onto consumers. In fact, just about any electronic device manufactured over the past 50 years can be recycled. Some states have even made it mandatory by law to recycle electronic waste. TVs, DVD players, VCRs, cellphones, electronic keyboards, stereos, MP3 players, PDAs and computer monitors can all be disassembled and broken down to undergo proper electronic waste recycling processes.

What Happens to Unrecycled Electronics?

Unfortunately, too much ewaste ends up unrecycled. Landfills do not recycle electronics. Many companies claiming to be in the business of electronic waste recycling only perform a partial recycling of an electronic device before sending it to a landfill. After removing platinum, gold or other valuable metals from the device, these companies take the device–still full of dioxins, mercury, PCBs and other toxic substances–to landfills and throw them away.

Ewaste that is not properly recycled typically gets incinerated. Although burning electronic devices in large incinerators reduces the amount of space taken up by discarded electronics in landfills, it produces some of the most toxic emissions emitted by incinerators in general. In addition, burning electronics promotes depletion of the ozone layer, contributes to greenhouse gases and has a direct impact on global warming.

All Electronic Waste Recycling Companies are Not Alike

Too many U.S. recycling businesses are getting away with referring to themselves as “ewaste recyclers” when the truth is, a majority of them are shipping ewaste overseas. Investigative reporting has also found methods used by these so-called recyclers put the health of local communities at risk.

Recovering gold and other valuable metals from electronics is not easy or cheap. To increase their profit, some questionable recyclers place parts in hydrochloric or nitric acid to extract gold. They then dump these acid-coated parts in landfills where groundwater, lakes and streams quickly become contaminated.

Professional electronics recycling companies who truly care about the environment and your health will do all the following:

  • Come to your business to collect unwanted electronic devices
  • Destroys hard drive information before recycling. They should also provide a genuine Certificate of Destruction for confirmation
  • All electronics are separated, classified and processed, not just devices containing valuable materials
  • Shredding of ewaste involves clinical separation of metals from plastics. Some shredding is necessary for additional sorting of materials
  • Has the kind of advanced, ewaste recycling technology to ensure devices are over 95 percent recycled as reusable raw material
  • Removes toxic materials and substances from all ewaste to maximize the process of controlled disposal
  • Renders harmful substances inactive by treating them with safe and appropriate chemicals
  • Determines whether used devices could be repaired and sends them to qualified technicians to be repaired
  • Takes care to dismantle cathode ray tube monitors manually before sending them through the process of recycling. Behind the glass of CRT screens lies a layer of lead designed to protect you from the electron beam responsible for generating screen images. Extracting five or six pounds of lead from one CRT monitor is not uncommon. Lead ewaste can then be shipped to smelters for recycling purposes

Potomac eCycle is one of the most trusted and dependable ewaste recycling companies in the Washington, D.C. and Virgina area. Contact us today if your business requires professional, state-of-the-art electronic waste recycling services.

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