Many companies in the beginning of the New Year purchase new electronic equipment. It is important to discard e-waste appropriately by using e-waste vendors that are certified by the Basel Action Network e-Stewards program. This system of certification is an independent audit that ensures recyclers do not throw e-waste into landfills and to only send to developing countries that have responsible and safe means of destruction and disposal.
There was a responsible electronics recycling act (HR 2284/ S. 1270) that was introduced in Congress in June of 2011. This Act would prevent the export of non-functional or shredded electronic scrap to developing countries and make it illegal to dump electronics into the landfill. It has been passed down to the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment but as of today, the status is unknown.
Two great videos on the issues of e-waste;
- Story of Electronics: Produced by the same organization as the Story of Stuff. An easy 20 minute video on where electronics go once they have no use.
- 60 Minutes Wasteland: First aired in 2009 and again in 2010, this gripping and telling investigative reporting on e-waste issues in China.
Go to eco-officiency’s website to learn about recommended places to recycle or donate unwanted computers and electronics.