The need for proper electronic recycling can be justified with the following stats and figures:-
– EPA reports that over 142,000 computers are discarded every day, in the U.S alone – that’s over 50 million desktops and laptops per year!
– In 2012, U.S. generated 3.4 million tons of e-waste – and only 1 million of this amount was recycled, which is only 29%. The rest goes to our landfills or incinerators.
– Wirefly.org claims that an average cell phone user changes his/her device every 18 months!
The implications are apparent from the above stats, and thus every business/individual should make this a priority and do a timely recycling of their old electronics. But how does one identify a right recycler who responsibly recycles our unwanted items?
So, here we outline the 5 basic steps to follow whilst choosing a suitable e-waste recycler:-
1.Understand your Recycling Items
Before searching and talking to recyclers, try understanding what your recycling needs are. Whilst, that may sound like an obvious and easy work, but once recyclers come at your premises, there will be detailed questions being asked especially if you’re a corporate user. For starters, determine the e-waste sources at your facilities and how much of the e-waste is produced on a monthly or quarterly basis. Ideally, make a list of the kinds of e-waste produced during these intervals. In addition, make separate lists for finished products like computers/laptops and televisions and accessory based items like batteries and power cords etc.
These preparations will be helpful since most recyclers would charge for some items and others would be compensated for.
2.Check the Recycler’s Environmental Commitments
Select a recycler that is not only professional but also environmentally responsible. After all, one main reason for recycling is to reduce and reuse (where possible) so that we don’t let those toxic substances spread into our environment. This can also lead to health impact for humans.
One way to determine is their certifications including an R2 Certification, which is all about Responsible Recycling and ensuring no damage to our environment is imposed.
3.What about Data Security?
We store ample amount of data into our electronic devices and while recycling these old items, every owner/corporate users want not to worry about the information being misused or compromised. It is, therefore, vital that you check the Data Destruction policies of the recycler, do they offer data wiping and/or degaussing. The bottom line is, you want all of the information on these to-be-recycled products to be completely wiped off responsibly so your business data is not compromised or misused.
4.Set-Up Formal In-Person Meeting
Upon determining your inventory list in step #1, call in the shortlisted recyclers for an in-person meeting. Excellent customer services are critical for this selection and any good e-waste recycler would be happy to meet and inspect your facilities. Since you’re calling in multiple recyclers, always a good idea to perhaps sign an NDA if you’re allowing site inspection and/or exchange any other business information. Ultimately, you’re going to be working with only 1 recycler.
It is a known fact, that some recyclers would either offer to pay for those old electronic devices and some may charge for it too! Fees are weight-based of the materials undergoing recycling and dependent on the kind of devices too. Recyclers often classify in advance what is paid for and what will be charged for collecting and recycling. As an example, if you sort all of the devices at your premises, then there may be a better rebate from recycled as that saves time on their end. Lastly, some recyclers charge for collections, so find out in advance if you’re paying that few extra $s for having them to collect.
R3EWaste.com offers more guidance on ways to recycle and ensure data security by completely deleting and wiping off all the data. Get in touch today for getting more advice.