Cost of Progress:
Electronics recycling is becoming more and more necessary because new electronic devices are being developed at a frenetic pace. Every few months, almost no matter what the device, a newer, better and faster product becomes available. The unfortunate side of this amazing progress is the number of electronic devices that end up in land-fill sites on a regular basis. This uncontrolled discarding of electronic products releases harmful chemicals and metals, randomly, into the environment.
A Few of the More Serious Culprits: PBDEs(polybrominated diphenyl ethers)
PBDE is a chemical that is used in the manufacture of foams and plastic as a flame retardant. It is present in most electronic products as well as mattresses and some children's clothing. There can be high levels of the chemical in the dust in our homes but also in the environment at large. This chemical is so pervasive that it shows up in cow's milk and meat. It even makes its way into the oceans where it has been found in the tissues of killer whales.
Mercury, Lead and Cadmium
in flat screens, lead from cathode ray TV screens and cadmium from disposal of electronic equipment. All these chemicals or metals are potentially very harmful for neural development or reproduction in humans and wildlife. It is becoming increasingly more critical to keep these things out of land-fill sites because the environment is becoming more and more contaminated.
Not only do these metals and chemicals end up in lakes and rivers but also they are often found in wells. The only real solution, to deal with this issue, is for consumers to support any electronics recycling opportunities available to them.
Some retailers offer a battery recycle program to keep batteries out of land-fill sites.
Ontario Electronics Stewardship
website where you can indicate the items you wish to dispose of and you enter a postal code for where you live and it informs you where you can take the items. If the items are still functional, they will be resold. If not, they will be processed to reclaim the materials used to make them. Currently, many products such as computers, TVs monitors and other computer devices can be dropped off free of charge. There is a fee for some items such as cell phones and cameras to cover the costs of safely recycling these unwanted items. In the spring of 2010 the list will be expanded for free drop-off.
For businesses and individuals located in the U.S.,
1-800-305-disk or 1-425-392-8700, provides and excellent service for disposal of technotrash. This company is located in the U.S. but arrangements can be made with Canadian customers to dispose of old electronic products in a safe and environment friendly way.
Have items you no longer need or want? You can sell them or give them away by using:
We are all part of this problem. Everyone reading this has or uses an electronic device. We need to become part of the solution: