It’s Time to Put More Thought into How We Throw Away Our Toxic Technology

This represents a current reality. Electronic waste is the fastest-growing segment in an already unsustainable waste stream. While it currently represents only 2% of the trash in landfills, it contributes 70% of overall toxic waste.

We know that we are all dependent on technology. When was the last time you went a day, even an hour, without checking your phone, email, or flicking on the TV?

We also know that hardware has an expiry date, or at least a perceived one. Think about all of the electronic equipment you have owned: what did you do with it when you upgraded?

Maybe you even still have it in a drawer somewhere—most people do. Only 20% of cell phones make it to a recycling facility, so where do the rest of them end up?

While we don’t have the answer, we do have a solution. The Electronic Recycling Association specializes in taking unwanted electronics, fixing them up if we can and repurposing them for a surprisingly large secondary market. We have convenient recycling depots across Canada where anyone can drop off their old cell phones, computers and other electronic items for free. We even have next-day pickup services for larger quantities or corporate donors.

What about data security? A reasonable concern; information security is one of the main reasons electronic equipment does not get recycled or reused. There are numerous solutions to this concern. When you provide equipment to the Electronic Recycling Association, you have the option to select a data destruction process to protect your intellectual property and sensitive information. This can be either data wiping through the use of industry leading data erasure software or physical data destruction using one of our AmeriShred harddrive shredders. We also provide a certificate of destruction that guarantees all data has been completely removed and/or destroyed and is now irretrievable.

You have options when it comes to disposing of your electronics. There are countless recyclers who offer electronic recycling services. Unfortunately, the majority of these organizations are mandated only to recycle electronics rather than consider the reuse potential, thereby eliminating the possibility of reuse by individuals and organizations unable to afford new items. The Electronic Recycling Association’s primary course of action is to evaluate every item we receive for remaining productive life. Once confirmed, items that can be reused are refurbished and prepared to be redeployed into the marketplace. In the event items do not exhibit any reuse potential, they are sent to one of our accredited recycling partners for final recycling.

An extra value-add is the ERA’s commitment to the community. Reusing computers means we have the ability to donate them to deserving organizations operating within our community. Since 2004 the ERA has donated thousands of computers and other electronics to people in need. This activity compels community goodwill and encourages the community at large to be more cognizant about the environmental impact of improperly disposed electronics. By giving the ERA your old equipment, you will be helping us support the community and protect the environment, all while freeing up space in your home or office.

The Electronic Recycling Association accepts nearly all electronics: old desktop and laptop computers, monitors and TVs, servers, cell phones, smart phones, printers and toner cartridges, cables and accessories, stereo equipment, mp3 and other handheld music devices. If you aren’t sure whether or not we accept an item please contact us for confirmation.

Our goal is to make it easy for people to get rid of their old computers and other unwanted items. Contact us today to arrange a convenient pick-up or drop-off.

This content was sponsored by the Electronic Recycling Association.

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