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Environmental Benefits of Recycling Electronics

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

To most people, recycling applies to plastics, metals, cardboard, and paper products. These items are obvious because they’re heavily emphasized in local recycling initiatives. However, many people don’t realize their everyday electronics are also recyclable. Not only that, but recycling electronics prevent further environmental destruction. Any business and individual should check out these environmental benefits of recycling electronics to see how proper e-waste disposal can reduce their carbon footprint.

It Reduces the Amount of Toxic Materials

Electronics require specific heavy metals, chemicals, and fibers in precise amounts to function as a working device. Naturally, these materials are not biodegradable. Rather, they are environmentally unfriendly in this final state. Still, when heavy metals released into the environment they affect plants, animals, and human health. Their toxicity kills soil microorganisms, which can devastate terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Many heavy metals are also carcinogenic, which raises alarming concerns with human exposure.

Helps Cleanse the Air, Soil, and Water

As aforementioned, e-waste poses great concern for environmental management. It contaminates the air, soil, and water. Electronics are not combustible, so when they’re improperly discarded—as when burned—they emit dangerous levels of smoke, toxins, or other pollutants into the air. The affected air can travel into unsuspecting communities. Similarly, the toxins also affect the soil and water. Plants and aquatic life need oxygen and nitrogen to thrive in their biomes. When toxic chemicals or heavy metals impact these environments, they reduce the nitrogen and oxygen and thereby suffocate the natural life of these essential elements.

Cuts Down on the Amount of E-Waste in Developing Countries

The last major environmental benefit of recycling electronics is that it doesn’t harm developing countries. Developed countries like the United States often take a “not in my backyard” approach to e-waste, which means they outsource their e-waste to developing countries for disposal. This raises its own collective issues in addition to the environmental ones listed above. Specifically, it can increase criminal behavior in those communities. Sometimes e-waste may still hold sensitive data if improperly decommissioned. This can lead cybercriminals within an impoverished community to commit fraud, cybertheft, or other malicious behavior. Appropriate e-recycling, on the other hand, creates an ethical and moral responsibility to protect these communities and their nearby ecosystems.

Let Evergreen IT handle your e-waste management services. Our ITAD and electronic recycling programs abide by R2 regulations so that we follow the right quality and transparency for environmental and social responsibility. Check out our services with asset disposition, hardware lifecycle management, hardware destruction, data center decommissioning, product remarketing, and electronic recycling pickup for your business.

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