Helping the Planet by Recycling Electronics

For a long time now, we’ve lived in a throw-away culture.

This means many things, such as:

  • Buying single use items like water in plastic bottles
  • Excessive packaging 
  • Replacing electronics often, with old ones going to landfills

Most of us have learned from childhood how important it is to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” as this Jack Johnson song shows. And yet, the amount of waste being dumped into our environment increases every year. 

Disturbing Statistics of e-Waste

We’re not going to focus on all the things we throw away. The truth is that we have to rethink this throwaway society. At Ncentiva, we know that if consumers and companies work together, we can solve some of the challenges of a throwaway society.

It starts, though, with understanding the problem, especially when it comes to electronic waste (also known as e-waste).

To that end, here are some things we think you need to know:

  • The UN defines e-waste as any discarded product with a battery or plug, and features toxic and hazardous substances such as mercury, that can pose severe risk to human and environmental health.” (Geneva Environment Network, “The Growing Environmental Risks of E-Waste.”) Note the words “toxic” and “hazardous” in this definition.
  • Even though electronic waste fills only about 2% of our landfills, it accounts for almost 70% of toxic waste
  • Somewhere between 12% and 20% of e-waste is actually recycled during any given year. (The 20% is a generous estimate, it’s more likely the lower end of the scale.)
  • In 2019, approximately 54 million metric tons of e-waste were generated worldwide. If trends continue, by 2030, that number will have risen to approximately 75 million metric tons—an increase of 30 percent.

Feeling concerned yet?

Environmental Risks of e-Waste

When we don’t make the effort to dispose of materials properly—or better yet find ways to extend the life of our electronics and reuse materials, we put our health and our world at risk.

E-waste is toxic.

Many electronic devices contain things like: lead, cadmium, mercury, flame retardants, and beryllium. When these devices are exposed to heat in landfills, (or burnt as the easiest way to dispose of them) these chemicals can leach into the ground, contaminate groundwater, and send toxic fumes into the air.

Whether the damage is done to the earth, air, or water, the results are pretty much the same:

  • In humans, increased cancer and chronic disease; birth defects; damage to the brain, heart, liver, kidney, and skeletal systems.
  • Damaging ecosystems and threatening the biodiversity of any area.
  • Decrease in the productivity of farmland, and toxins seeping into plant life, which affects anyone who eats from the land (so basically all life).

Good News: You Can Help by Recycling Your Electronics!

We’ve got the depressing stuff out of the way. But there is good news. More and more companies are making an effort to find solutions, including recycling programs that reuse materials and grow a circular economy.

You are part of that circle.

Before you throw away any of your old technology, think about the benefits of recycling them instead:

  1. Recycling means smaller landfills and fewer toxins in those landfills.
  2. Recycling is good for the economy because it reduces production costs which are higher if you build something from scratch. It also creates jobs.
  3. Recycling reuses resources. That means less use of water and even less use of energy.

That sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

In order to make this happen, you have an important role.

You, the consumer, must demand responsible recycling practices from your electronics company. You must be willing to invest in electronics that have recycled material, and to (perhaps) use your electronics for a longer time. Finally, don’t simply throw your electronics away, but rather take the steps to recycle your products.

Help the Planet and Get Rewarded for Recycling Your Electronics with Ncentiva!

Ncentiva (powered by Phobio) is here to help you take the recycling steps! It’s really easy. All you have to do is reach out to Ncentiva today to get a price quote for your old electronics.

If you accept the quote, Phobio will help you ship your electronics (at no cost) for a final assessment. In return, you get gift cards to top brands with up to 20% more than the value of your device.

We take care of the rest, making sure that your electronics get recycled rather than dumped. Help the planet, start your trade-in today!

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