Electronic waste, or e-waste, is one of the fastest-growing waste segments in the world. According to the U.N., we throw away 20–50 million tons of e-waste each year, globally. Americans alone discard of 9.5 million tons of electronics annually.
In addition to cluttering our landfills, electronic pollution can have devastating effects on the environment. Discover why you should recycle hardware to protect the planet and support local businesses.
Why It’s Important to Recycle Hardware
People used to have the same TV in their house for over a decade. Now we are checking out Black Friday deals every year for the newer models with slightly higher resolution or clarity. Smartphones are ingeniously designed to start slowing down and glitching after only two years of use so you are pushed to purchase the latest, greatest model.
In this day and age, it’s not uncommon (or shameful) to be running through electronics quickly. Many jobs require you to be available on your laptop or mobile device, so it’s important to have reliable electronics. Unfortunately, not many people think about where their used devices end up when they dispose of them.
Improper E-Waste Disposal
Many electronics contain toxic materials, such as lead, mercury, and chromium. When these devices are thrown into a landfill, the chemicals they contain can leach and pollute the surrounding soil, air, and water.
Electronic devices also contain valuable raw materials, such as glass, copper, and even silver and gold. When you recycle hardware, you are giving manufacturers the option to reuse these materials in new devices, rather than continuing to mine for them in nature.
But how exactly can you recycle hardware? Where can you drop off your devices? Keep reading—we answer all of these questions and more.
What to Ask During the Hardware Recycling Process
Trying to recycle hardware can seem difficult and confusing. Don’t worry, we’re here to address any questions you might have about proper e-waste disposal practices.
Does the Device Have Critical Data on It?
First and foremost, you need to make sure to erase any classified information before you try to recycle hardware. You don’t want any important documents or confidential data to end up in the wrong hands and put your company at risk. If you’re unsure of how to clear your electronic device’s memory, consider finding a certified company that offers hard drive destruction services.
Can I Recycle Multiple Items at Once?
Yes! In fact, many recycling companies have a pickup fee, so you can actually save money by bundling devices.
Can I Donate My Used Hardware?
If you’d like to donate your recycled hardware, you should contact local nonprofits to see if they have a need for extra electronic devices. As long as your machine is wiped clean of all data, many small nonprofits can benefit from devices that are older but still supported. Just think—you could end up helping a larger cause and giving your device a second life and purpose!
What Are Some Other Ways I Can Give Back to the Community?
If you’d like to still work with a company that recycles hardware, consider a nonprofit that provides work to adults with special needs. Some hardware recycling companies, such as Blue Star Recyclers, train employees who are handi-capable, and giving them your business supports their livelihood as independent workers.
Denver Water partners closely with Blue Star Recyclers and was able to recycle over nine tons of electronic waste in 2018. Together, these two organizations are dedicated to tackling Denver’s e-waste problem and improving sustainability efforts throughout the city.
Recycle Hardware With Live Consulting
For top-notch recycling hardware services in Denver, consider using Live Consulting. We offer fair prices for electronics, general accessories, hard drive destruction, and pickup services.
If you’re unsure of exactly when to replace your technology, consider downloading our Asset Tracking Spreadsheet! This all-inclusive spreadsheet helps you budget for technology purchases and keep track of warranties and when technology needs to be replaced. Use your electronics’ full potential and recycle hardware when the time comes!