Importance of Recycling Electronics

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What are the environmental concerns?

Computers and electronics are an integral part of our daily lives. We use them for communication, data storage, keeping up with the daily news, and many other activities in our lives. We have reached the point where we can't live without them. But electronics have become a waste disposal problem as well.

Large quantities of televisions, computers, VCR's, printers, cellphones and other electronic equipment are finding their way to closets, attics, garages, storage areas, illegal dumps and landfills as the products become obsolete.

The computer and electronic waste stream is growing rapidly in the United States. While the electronic waste stream is only two percent of the municipal waste stream, it is growing three times faster than any other waste material we generate. It has been estimated that Americans dispose of 12 million to 14 million computers each year and this number is expected to increase.

Many computers and electronics contain components that can be hazardous to the environment. Some of these components include:
  • Cathode ray tubes (CRT) - the glass picture tubes found in computer monitors and TVs contain lead, while the flatscreen monitors contain small quantities of mercury. The amount of lead varies from four to six pounds per unit.
  • Printed circuit boards contain hazardous metals including chromium, cadmium, lead and mercury.
  • Batteries in electronics and computers may contain lead, mercury, nickel and cadmium.

While these are not problems when we initially purchase the product, they become an environmental issue when we dispose of these items as they become obsolete.

Even in developed countries recycling and disposal of e-waste may involve significant risk to workers and communities and great care must be taken to avoid unsafe exposure in recycling operations and leaching of material such as heavy metals from landfills and incinerator ashes.

Where the enviornmental issue occuring.

From my research i found that in the usa that all states have recycling.
And if you are looking for a recycling center you can use a phone book or websites to locate port washington recycling centers. Then when you go to there home page they give you a list of what time they open and what you can recycle.And if you need to find the website you can go to the link below.

There are more than 500 companies in the USA that are considered to be electronics recyclers. That is, companies or organizations with operations in one or more of the segments of the electronics recycling industry. Most companies involved with electronics recycling are relatively small and new businesses. However, there are a number of major recyclers that collectively process a large portion of the industry volume. In addition to recycling companies, there are some manufacturers/OEMs and not-for-profit organizations with electronics recycling operations. The key economic drivers of the electronics recycling industry are the need for a predictable stream of high volume sources and the capital required for automated processes. The future growth and success of the industry will depend on developing an effective and efficient infrastructure for electronics recycling serving all sectors.
Electronics recycling is also growing outside the USA. In fact, Europe has established legislation requiring the take back and proper disposal of electrical and electronics equipment (i.e., the “WEEE Directives”) and is building the infrastructure to support it. Manufacturers are implementing product take back and recycling operations in Japan. China has become a growing, but controversial destination for recycling scrap electronics. Since most of the major metal refiners of the world are outside the USA, a substantial amount of processed materials are exported.

E-cycling begins with you

Electronics waste is growing exponentially. Televisions are used on average for less than two years. For computers, it's three. Recycling, or "E-cycling," these and other electronic items is critical for preserving landfill space and for ensuring that hazardous materials used to make electronics are properly disposed.
  • Click on your state below to find reuse, recycling, and donation programs across the country
  • If you aren't sure what to look for in a recycler, take a look at this series of questions .
  • To recycle batteries or mercury-containing lamps, visit the links section for additional resources.

Click Your State for E-cycling Centers
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Port Washington, WI

The Veolia Environmental Services (VES) Port Washington, Wisconsin facility is an Electronics Recycling Group location. The site consists of 11.45 acres of which 4 acres are in use. A security fence surrounds the active portion of the site. There is only one gate to the facility that is locked during off-hours. Previous use of the property was agricultural (fields). The nearest residential area is approximately one half mile. The facility storage building opened on December 27, 1989 and is located along the northwest end of the active portion of the site inside the security fence. The facility storage building is 82'x120' or 9,840 square feet. There are no underground or above ground storage tanks on the site. Veolia's facility "Part B" permit has been extended by the WDNR during the re-licensing process. The facility is exempt from regulation under certain portions of Chapter NR 600 Wis. Admin. Code because it meets the definition of "legitimate recovery" operations under NR 625.06 Wis Admin. Code. PCB accumulation is exempt from commercial PCB storage requirements under section 144.44 (9) Wis. Stats. The facility has also filed a storm water permit application. There are no industrial wastewater discharges from the facility.

  • VeoliaES-Port Washington can handle the following types of waste: mercury bearing lamps, mercury devices, mercury compounds, mercury debris, mercury soil, mercury contaminated phosphor, lamp ballasts, small PCB capacitors (<9lbs), all types of batteries, computers and electronics.

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Impact on the enviorment when we dont recycle

Television TV Disposal and Recycling:
LCD and Plasma TVs are becoming very common now. Unfortunately that leaves many of the older television sets more unpopular to the consumer. We end up discarding of them when we no longer want or need them. CRT televisions are no longer worth fixing, so they end up in landfills more frequently. Televisions are one of the main sources of electronic waste. There are several reasons why television recycling is important. Like old computer monitors, televisions have a device inside that enables the viewing of the image. Before LCD screens came to market, the viewing device used inside a monitor was a Cathode Ray Tube or CRT. Contained within the CRT inside your old computer monitors and televisions, there are large quantities of lead, phosphorous, cadmium, barium and mercury. When a computer monitor or TV is land filled, large equipment is commonly used to crush the waste. As a finished product, these hazardous materials are sealed, however, the crushing of such waste causes the hazardous materials to be released into the soil and a leaching process occurs as a result. Eventually, these hazardous materials may find their way into a water supply or our food chain. When monitor glass is crushed by trash facilities, the lead-bearing particles become an airborne hazard. There are some companies that specialize in television and computer monitor recycling and diverts 100% of the components from landfills. Although most electronics contain hazardous materials, most parts of any electronic device can be recycled. Everything from the monitor glass, to the plastic casing, to the copper, power supply, and even the processor can be recycled. The panel glass and funnel glass that are removed from a TV is recycled to make new cathode ray tubes. Even the steel and other metals that televisions contain are recycled to make other products. It is important to utilize the services of a recycler that specializes in monitor and television recycling. In addition to TVs, many VCRs are ending up in landfills and dumps since that technology is being phased out. Millions of remote controls for these electronic devices get discarded as e-waste every year as well. If you have an old VCR or DVD player that you no longer want there are many charities and non-profit organizations that you can give them to. There are also probably some companies in your area that recycle old VCRs and even newer DVD players that would otherwise be thrown out in the dump. It is the goal of electronic manufacturers to always come out with new features and functions on televisions and DVD players. They want us to keep buying new units so their profits keep increasing. Now with mass production and relatively low prices it makes it easier for consumers to dispose of electronics they no longer want. Unfortunately much of this e-waste ends up in landfills.

Where can these items be recycled?
Best Buy: 1070 N. Port Washington Road, Grafton. Many electronics are free, however there is a $10 fee for a computer monitor or television. Best Buy will in turn give you a $10 gift card for the store.
Milwaukee PC:
10914 N. Port Washington Road, Mequon. Only allows drop off of desktop computers, printers, monitors, and laptops. There is no charge for this service.
Nationwide Recycling:
2230 Stonebridge Circle, West Bend. 262-365-0801
Nationwide recycles EVERYTHING…just ask! Fees apply on some items.
Veolia Environmental Services:
1275 Minerals Springs Drive, Port Washington. 800-387-0949
Contact Veolia for fee information.

What are current or possible solutions to Electronic Recycling.

Electronic Recycling Solutions (ERS) is an e-waste recycling company based in Tooele, Utah. ERS is located a short distance from Salt Lake City allowing effective service to individuals and businesses in and around the Salt Lake City metropolitan area. ERS is concerned with the manner in which e-waste is being disposed of in our landfills and is committed to bringing affordable recycling solutions to businesses and the general public who want to make a difference by recycling e-waste responsibly.
E-waste has become an increasing problem on a global scale. Daily advancements in technology make older equipment obsolete on an accelerating basis. It is estimated that 80%-90% of electronics are thrown into landfills where certain components contaminate the environment with toxic substances such as lead and mercury.
ERS is proud to offer electronic recycling at a low cost while maintaining environmentally safe standards. Some items can even be recycled for free. CRTs (cathode ray tube), LCD (liquid crystal display), plasma monitors, televisions, and other electronic items containing mercury vapor tubes may require a small fee to process. Since CRT's, LCD's, and plasma monitors/televisions have components that contain lead and mercury, special processing is required to properly dispose of these items.

What is the future outlook for Recycling Electronics

The disposal of end-of-life electronics products has become a topic of interest and concern worldwide as municipalities face the potential of enormous volumes to handle in the future. In addition to aggravating the cost and availability of landfills, electronics products contain materials that should not be treated as common waste. Most, if not all of the materials are recyclable and have reuse value, such as metals and plastics. There are also relatively small quantities of some specific materials that may be potentially hazardous, particularly if they are not disposed of properly, such as lead, mercury and cadmium. Electronics recycling companies specialize in providing a service that assures the proper handling and disposal of these materials with the objective of optimizing recycling and reuse.



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