So you or your construction company have gotten new tech. It could be a new set of computers, monitors, or an Internet-of-Things-style server system. But, you have all these old bits of technology that, though formerly very useful, now would require a whole new office to use them. So, you throw them out. Or at least, you do if you are uninformed in the industry of itad recycling.
This type of recycling abbreviated ITAD recycling but standing for IT Asset Disposition is a growing field and is predicted to grow even higher over the next few decades. The thing is when technological innovation grows quicker and quicker the raw materials necessary for this growth must be acquired, refined, turned into parts, and then disposed of as they are replaced. This becomes an even worse issue when you realize that computer parts often contain heavy metals that cannot or should not return to the environment.
From Full Hard drive to Crowded Landfill
When a piece of technology like a solid-state drive is disposed of via the trash, often it will end up in a landfill. All computer parts that use circuit boards (effectively all of them) have led in them, used in the solder that keeps wires stable and working properly. If these parts end up in landfills, they can have a dramatic effect on local wildlife. Modern water filtration can usually sequester or filter out these metals, but for fish populations, this can be a serious issue.
Another example is mercury which is used as a local flame retardant for circuit boards. We know the hazards of mercury. To summarize it is toxic in any form, but in its liquid form, it is an especially potent metal. These things must not end up in a landfill, but disposing of them can be dangerous, tedious, and expensive.
This is one of many cases where disposing of trash is far more problematic than just recycling the objects. Many professional companies offer this service, and it is extremely efficient for both the environment and your business. Itad recycling is one of many growing fields that can resupply modern manufacturers with the raw materials they need, so click here for more info.
E-waste as it is colloquially called is a major problem, and itad is a solution. So, let’s go over some potential problems and how everyone can solve them on an individual basis. A lot of quick and dirty recycling can be done by open-air burning the components or using acid, but these both have extreme potential for harm. Open-air burning heavy metal-laden parts should seem self-explanatory, but it’s bad for the same reason as banning tires. It’s effectively doing maximum harm to the air for the minimum total effort.
Acid baths are often improperly disposed of as well. Though chemistry has used them for ages, acids are harmful for many reasons, the least of which is that they degrade and corrode metals. Throwing acid on metal can result in that metal being released into the water or air supply, which is not ideal. You can neutralize acid, but if someone is taking that shortcut already chances are the impact of this practice is not something they consider. Proper environmental consideration for e-waste is the best thing to do to stop these practices.
Environmental organizations have already caught on to the level of harm improper disposal of technology can produce. For information on the EPA’s response, look here: https://www.epa.gov/international-cooperation/cleaning-electronic-waste-e-waste, and this is not the only initiative taken to combat the dangerous practices many businesses can already stop. This is not to say that all businesses are the problem since itad companies are plentiful and provide the extremely valuable service we need to stop heavy metal leaching into the environment.
If you have a lot of trash electronics you need to get rid of, consider calling a company to take them away. Though this is a pain for anyone, you can ride the waves of virtue straight from donation to donation and into a clean future. Though, it is worth mentioning that many recycling companies offer credits for providing electronics, and that this is well worth the consideration for the planet.