Here at Envirotech Wireless, we believe that sustainability and the use of technology aren't mutually exclusive. Though some electronics are made with materials that may be hazardous to the environment, that doesn't mean we shouldn't have protection. It just means we need to be more careful about how we dispose of these products. Recently a new movement has arisen in Canada and other countries to recycle used electronics.
According to the Ontario Electronics Stewardship, 4 out of 5 households had an electronic item that they want to get rid of. They've outgrown the old laptop that got them through the first few years, but they don't know what to do with them. They either sit in the basement collecting dust or they go into a landfill where the materials inside them can poison the environment. Mercury, cadmium, and other precious metals are not only valuable but also dangerous if disposed of incorrectly.
But Ecycling is about more than just keeping chemicals out of the ground water. Clearly that is one of the key goals of some programs, and since these ecycling programs have started, companies that treat water are reporting water quality improvements. That's good news, but Ecycling is also about creating more sustainable communities by taking materials that would otherwise be taking up space in a landfill and getting them back into people's hands where they can be useful. In the case of broken electronics, metals, plastics, and other materials can be reclaimed and sold back to electronics manufacturers to be turned into new products. In the case of functional electronics, they can be donated to those who cannot afford new products but who find it difficult to get by without them.
You can practice Ecycling at home by replacing your old electronics with more energy efficient types and taking your old electronics to a facility where they can be properly disposed of. Call your local electronics stewardship council or waste management division to find out where to take your old electronics. For example, if you have an old furnace or air conditioning, contact a repair company like Builderschoiceair.com to ask them to remove the old items. Currently Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, PEI, and Manitoba have programs. Elsewhere cell phones can be recycled by taking them back to dealers.
Old computers, peripherals (keyboards, mice, printers, etc.), cassette players, speakers, stereos, computer monitors, televisions, cell phones, digital cameras, digital music players, VCRs, pagers, radios, answering machines, and projectors are all products that are commonly accepted at electronics recycling facilities.
Find an ecycle depot near you at eCyclingCenter.com.