The Electronic Waste Crisis: 5 Things You Can Do to Help
The Electronic Waste Crisis is a very serious problem, but if you’re here, you probably already know that. Here is what you can do to help:
- Make sure you know where your e-waste goes. Just because they collect your electronic waste doesn’t mean they’ll recycle your e-waste. Be especially wary of flyers dropped off at your house asking you to put e-waste on the street. Often, these flyers neglect to identify their company name. This should be especially alarming. Make sure you give your e-waste to R2 or E-steward certified companies. These certifications designate responsible, environmentally friendly e-waste recyclers. For Bay Area residents, find the GreenCitizen recycling drop-off centers closest to you. For those outside the Bay Area, check earth911.com.
- Clear out your office. Businesses account for a majority of electronic waste generated, so it is in businesses sector that there is the most opportunity for progress. Request an e-waste business pick-up here.
- Spread the word. The electronics waste crisis is a serious problem, but one that flies under the radar. In San Francisco, it is illegal to throw your electronic waste in the garbage, since e-waste contaminates soil and drinking water when improperly disposed of in landfills. Making people aware of the issue and letting them know what they can do to recycle their e-waste is a major part in solving this problem. Just like with battery recycling, a solid network of e-waste recycling will take work, but it is certainly attainable.
- Responsible Electronics Recycling Act. House Resolution 2791, introduced with bi-partisain support on July 24th, 2013, would make it illegal to ship electronic waste to developing nations. Contact your senator or house representative. For a letter you can print out and send to your member(s) of congress, please click here. For more information about HR 2791, please check out this Electronics Take Back article.
- Repair. Extending the life of your electronics is one of the best steps you can take to help the environment. Repairing your items prevents waste from entering landfills, and lowers demand for new electronics. For an understandable tutorial on how to repair almost any electronic item, check out ifixit.com