It seems that these days, more and more of our overall household and business waste is falling under the technology bracket. Cellular phones are so common nowadays that they are discarded on a regular basis. It’s not uncommon to go through two or even three in a year. ‘Disposable Phones’, as they are so incorrectly named, are as common at the local 7-Eleven as a pack of gum.
Computers, although steadily upgradable, can still become obsolete within months. As can their counterparts and accessories. Printers these days seem to have a shelf life of less than a couple of years in most business settings.
Televisions and media players are also on a constant ‘upgrade’ swing. Not only must you upgrade to keep up with the Jones’ next door, but sometimes, you have to upgrade in order to keep it functioning at all. (So long Analog!)
But what’s to become of these tossed away and forgotten technology dinosaurs after they have lost their heyday appeal? Is there a technology boneyard out there somewhere, full of BETA and 8 Track players, HD DVD players and 25lb laptops? Is there a technology wasteland somewhere where these icons of obsolete can unite together, trade parts among themselves, and perhaps become something bigger, better, and most importantly- reusable?
Why yes actually, there is.
E-cycling (recycling of technology) has become a big part of the recycling industry. Like the specialized recycling plants of the past which focused on old tube televisions, microwaves, and air conditioners—e-cycling plants offer an even greater focus on all aspects of our present day technology recycling needs. And what are the e-waste needs of most households today? Here’s just a few:
Cell phones, pagers, PDA’s, Pocket PC’s, Computers Units, Towers/CPUS, Laptops, Keyboards, mice, speakers, monitors, printers, scanners, CD’s, DVD’s, floppy disks, software, batteries, wire, cables, circuit boards, VCR’s, CD Players, DVD Player’s, Portable Walkman, Stereo Speakers, gaming systems, fans, air conditioners, Televisions, Home phones, answering machines, fax machines, copiers….
Most American households of today could easily discard most of the items on this list in just one year. The environmental impact of throwing these items in a landfill can be detrimental as most e-waste contains toxic materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and others. Many states, including Washington, have also passed laws to reduce the amount of e-waste which enters landfills.
So where do I take my e-waste? Stay tuned for my post on Monday when I will brief you on my findings on two local e-cycling resources!