America Recycles Day: Do Your Part, Responsibly

America Recycles Day, November 15

Happy America Recycles Day!

On November 15 each year, communities across the county join to celebrate and promote recycling.

However, before you get out there and do your part, and in particular with regard to recycling your old toxic electronics, make sure you are not simply handing your equipment off to those that call themselves recyclers but are really nothing more than waste distributors and exporters.

Make sure you only use e-Stewards® Certified Recyclers.  This unfortunately, is the ONLY list of electronics recyclers that are audited and certified to a standard that ensures they simply don’t load up your old computer into a sea-going container and ship it to China or Africa.

Currently, about 80% of electronics you deliver to a “recycler” is really just “packed and stacked” into shipping containers and exported. These companies don’t recycle; they are just selling to brokers who will deliver your old electronics to the highest bidders overseas.  Yes, Wilma, this is what happens!!  (See the results here:  BAN Photo Gallery).  Sad to say.

But realize that IF your recycling or refurbishment is done by one of the few truly responsible e-Stewards® recyclers then it IS a very good thing not only for the planet and the country.

Here’s four ways it’s good for the USA…when you choose a responsible electronics recycler.

  • Green Jobs. We would create at least seven domestic jobs in refurbishment, demanufacturing or material processing for every packing-and-stacking job, according to the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling);
  • National and Privacy Security. We would keep classified information found on decommissioned devices, here, in the US, where it can be more securely eradicated (right now, you can go to open-air markets all over the world and buy – for a few dollars – hard drives containing sensitive data, pulled from US computers sent to developing countries for “recycling”);
  • Resource Security and Preventing Damaging Mining. While preventing the impacts of primary mining, we’ll also keep precious metals reclaimed in e-recycling — copper, iron, manganese, nickel, palladium, platinum, tin, zinc and gold — here, too.  It is called “urban mining,” and, currently, US “recyclers” ship mountains of the precious metals contained in e-waste overseas, only to be sold back to the US when we need the materials to build our country.
  • Energy Independence and Reducing Carbon Footprint.  While reducing our carbon footprint, we save energy. Recycling aluminum, for example requires 95 percent less energy than producing aluminum from bauxite ore. By recycling here, in the US, we capture those energy savings. Plus we don’t waste energy in shipping e-waste across oceans.

Not only are environmental interests well served but its good for the US economy and interests as well. All from the simple act of choosing a responsible recycler, multiplied many times over.

“This is a new era in America,” said ERI CEO John Shegerian, an e-Stewards Certified Recycler.  ”We can no longer simply consume and make waste to our heart’s content.  In these times, America has to do more with less. That means being more efficient, reusing and repurposing what we have to get the most out of it.  Responsible domestic electronic recycling is right at the forefront of this effort and I couldn’t be more proud.”


Find e-Stewards Recyclers Here: