Back to The Basics of Electronic Recycling
Sometimes we all could use a refresher, go back to the beginning and understand the fundamentals.
When recycling electronics, whether it be computers, phones, printers servers or switches, it’s important to understand the basics.
SERI (The housing body for the R2 Standard) has put together some great content that covers 5 great topics…
What are used electronics?
Used electronics vary widely in size, shape, weight, age and technological complexity - including everything from last year's high end mobile phone, to a server in a data center. Many of these products can be repaired and reused. All others can be recycled for their scrap materials.
A Growing Problem
Approximately 15 pounds of used electronics are generated per capita worldwide - but less than 20% are recycled. The volume of used electronics is expected to increase over 33% by the end of the decade, with much of that growth coming from emerging economies.
Environment & Data Risks
Electronics can contain mercury, cadmium, phosphors, lead, and other substances that can contaminate the air, soil, and water if sent to a landfill or are otherwise improperly managed. Increasing numbers of electronic devices also contain sensitive user data, including contact information, credit cards, medical histories, photos, and other information.
Repair & Reuse
Reuse is widely recognized as the most environmentally beneficial form of materials management. Repairing and reusing electronics extends the useful life of products and keeps them out of the waste stream. It also recovers more value per unit than any other form of materials management. Not only that, reusing electronics devices reduces the need to manufacture new units, and makes affordable electronics more accessible to a wider range of consumers.
Recovery of valuable metals and other materials from end-of-life electronics provides a sustainable solution when reuse is no longer feasible. “Urban mining” for rare and precious materials contained in electronic devices stretches our planet’s limited supply of natural resources and requires less energy than the mining of new metals.
For more information about the R2 standard click here!