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June 4, 2015

Scary Facts About E-Waste and the Environment

A few decades ago, when electronics, such as the radio to television, broke down, people wouldn’t simply march out and buy a new unit.  Instead, consumers called in repairmen.  All of that changed with the advent of the personal computer: Suddenly, people were buying electronic devices that would become nearly obsolete in about three years.  This left a number of people with old Commodore 64s on their hands and no notion of what to do with them.  This has inevitably led to an environmental crisis:

 

The Dangers of Landfills

 

Few of us look at our computers and think “toxic waste zone,” but the truth is that personal computers and electronic devices contain all sorts of nasty chemicals that we don’t want leeching into the soil or groundwater.  For example, chances are that the lovely flat screen panel you’ve hooked up to your desktop PC contains mercury to help it glow.  Cathode ray tubes, used in both televisions and some computers, can include up to four pounds of lead.

 

Over the years, many of the more problematic materials used to make electronics have been replaced entirely, but that doesn’t solve the problem.  After all, there exists a half-century worth of old electronics in landfills.  That kind of waste isn’t just going to go away because of our good intentions:  We need to work hard to keep these toxic materials out of the environment—not only for our own good, but because the truth is that they never needed to be discarded in the first place.

 

Missed Opportunities

 

If we tossed every obsolete cell phone in the world into a landfill, it would be a waste on two counts:

 

1. Cell phones can be recycled for their plastic and boast valuable materials, such as platinum, gold, copper, silver, brass, and tin, any of which can be salvaged to great effect.

2. Old cell phones aren’t solely useful due to their scrap value; they can also be sold to countries with less access to technology or donated to shelters for victims of domestic violence.  There’s never a good reason to throw out an old piece of technology, as there’s always some further use for it.

If you have items that you need recycled, then you should call Vintage Tech Recyclers at (877) 625-7945 today.