As technology continues to improve and change everyone wants to keep up with the times and buy the newest and “best” electronics. As people purchase new things like laptops, cell phones, tablets, gaming systems, stereos, etc. they typically dispose of their old, creating electronic waste (E-waste). Electronic equipment may contain lead, chromium, cadmium, mercury or other hazardous metals, so it is important to understand what E-waste is and how to dispose of it.
What is E-Waste?
E-waste is created when an electronic product is discarded after the end of its useful life. The rapid expansion of technology and our consumption driven society, results in the creation of a large amount of E-waste every minute. Most of the electronic items used in our previous decade belong in the E-waste category. Items such as VCRs, CD players, older models of TVs, computer monitors, fax machines, old cell phones, and more are considered E-waste.
The EPA estimates that, in 2009, US consumers and businesses discarded televisions, computers, cell phones and hard copy peripherals (including printers, scanners, fax machines) totaling 2.37 million tons. Approximately 25 percent of these electronics were collected for recycling, with the remainder disposed of primarily in landfills, where the precious metals cannot be recovered.
Why is E-Waste Considered Hazardous?
Like everything, it is not bad to upgrade your electronics, but if they are not disposed of properly, they can cause serious damage to the environment and create health risks for those exposed to them. Electronic equipment may contain lead, chromium, cadmium, mercury or other hazardous metals. The threat to our environment is significant because of the volume of these trace elements added to our landfills.
E-waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste. Electronic items that are hazardous, include but are not limited to: TVs and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes, LCD desktop monitors, LCD televisions, plasma televisions, and portable DVD players with LCD screens.
Each local government and entity have their own guidelines around what is considered E-waste and how to dispose of it. Be sure to check your local rules for discarding of E-waste.
What are the Recommended Ways to Dispose of E-Waste?
To handle E-waste properly, you need to first understand what E-waste is. Once you know what E-waste is, then you can learn the recommended ways to dispose of E-waste.
Depending on the rules and regulations around the disposal of E-waste, in your state or county, you shouldn’t just toss your TV, laptop, old cell phone, VCR, printer and other equipment into the trash bin. In most cases, you should take old electronics and other gadgets to specified drop off locations or collection events.
E-waste is generally prohibited in garbage bins or dumpsters. If you improperly dispose of E-waste, you can be penalized.
Contact Dumpster Express if you have project with a large amount of debris or a lot of electronics to discard of and think a dumpster would be the right solution.
Dumpster Express does not have the proper dumpster equipment to store and remove hazardous materials, but we will be glad to point you in the right direction. Over the years, we have built up many relationships in the dumpster removal industry. We know many great vendors for hazardous waste removal.