In an earlier comment on the vast numbers of computers, cellphones and digital products being discarded, the statistic that only 15-20% of them are recycled was somewhat alarming.
This rather low level of recycling is borne out by a recent study by Retrevo.
Despite the fact that at least 20 states have an electronics recycling law and some others have voluntary recycling projects, more than 60% of people surveyed do not incorporate their electronic gadgets and devices into their recycling practices:
- Only 39% of people claim to recycle all of their old electronic gadgets
- 17% don’t know how to recycle their old gadgets
- 7% didn’t care to know how to recycle their old gadgets
- 26% didn’t get around to it
- 11% said e-cycling wasn’t available where they lived
Some major retailers, such as RadioShack, Costco and Sam’s Club, offer trade-ins; there is a ray of hope that this incentive will remind consumers to e-cycle. Best Buy will accept items in its stores and will pick up old TVs when delivering a new television set. gift card for immediate use;
As consumers approach the holiday shopping season, it’s time for manufacturers and retailers to do their part to help reduce ewaste by actively promoting e-cycling as good for consumers and good for the planet.
The responsible disposal of electronic gadgets and devices raises concerns because many components are not biodegradable and will seep into the ground and perhaps groundwater sources. Newer models may be equipped with environmentally friendly parts, such as an eco-friendly fire safety solution, so discarding them will have a lesser impact on the landfill over time.