5 Facts About E-Waste and How You Can Help

Many businesses don’t realise that they should properly recycle their e-waste. It might take a little more initiative, but we can promise you that the benefits are well worth it. 

If you need more convincing, then check out these five e-waste recycling facts.

They’re interesting, perhaps shocking, and, most importantly, compelling and if it leaves you thinking “what can we do as a business to help?’’ then please read on.

1. The production of one computer and monitor uses 530 pounds of fossil fuels.

When electronic devices reach the end of their lives, their impact is usually apparent. People realise that they end up in landfills and release toxins that harm the environment and humans.

What may not be as apparent is the impact of electronic devices before they ever leave the manufacturing plant. 

For instance, consider what it takes to make one computer and monitor. Manufacturers will generally use 1.5 tons of water and 48 pounds of chemicals in the production process, not to mention 530 pounds of fossil fuels. That’s a lot of resources to set up one worker’s cubicle! 

Knowing how many raw materials go into the production of electronic devices emphasizes the need to properly recycle. Corporate mobile recycling is often overlooked and businesses need to learn more in doing so they’ll be furthering their environmental impact long after they leave the office.

2. In 2019, only 17.4% of e-waste was recycled.

There’s no doubt that the production of electronic devices harms the environment. But everyone does everything in their power to properly recycle them, right? 

Unfortunately, no. Not everyone nor all businesses are conscious of their impact. Even though the world produced 57.4 million metric tons of e-waste in 2021, only 17.4% was recycled. Unfortunately global e-waste generation is growing annually by about 3 to 4%, a problem attributed to higher consumption rates of electronics (increasing 3% annually), shorter product lifecycles and limited repair options.

3. Unrecycled e-waste led to an unrecoverable $57 billion in raw materials.  

What about the other 82.6% of the world’s e-waste? Providers either burned it or tossed it into landfills, which causes environmental effects.

The lack of waste recycling prevents us from extracting gold, silver, and other raw materials from old devices. Experts believe 2019 saw $57 billion worth of these raw materials go to waste, forcing manufacturers to put continual stress on the world’s dwindling supply. 

4. E-waste that ends up in landfills contributes to climate change. 

When people fail to properly recycle electronic devices, they end up in landfills where providers burn them just to get rid of them.

The burning facilitates the release of carbon dioxide, PBDEs, and raw materials like aluminum, copper, and iron. All of these toxins contribute to climate change and continue to strain Earth’s resources. 

Embedded in 1 million cell phones, for example, are 24 kg of gold, 16,000 kg of copper, 350 kg of silver, and 14 kg of palladium — resources that could be recovered and returned to the production cycle. And if we fail to recycle these materials, new supplies need to be mined, harming the environment.

It’s also worth mentioning that these toxins aren’t just harmful to the environment — they’re harmful to humans. They pose serious health risks to us when they seep into our air, water, and soil. 

5. Improper e-waste recycling causes 25% of data breaches. 

Unfortunately, you can’t just drop your devices off at a recycling plant because you must consider proper data destruction. 

Manually deleting your files on a hard drive isn’t enough, as the data is still recoverable. Savvy hackers can access everything from customer credit card information to classified business records. 

In fact, improper e-waste recycling is responsible for 25% of data breaches. You can save your business from becoming the next victim by choosing a reputable recycler to handle everything from data destruction to the final disposal. 

Now, if you choose just any recycler, you remain at risk of data breaches.

Thus, it’s in your best interest to choose a reputable provider like ICT Reverse. We are very thorough in every step of the process and prioritize your business’s security over all else. 

For help and advice contact ICT Reverse today

These facts should give you a good overview of e-waste and its impact on the world. Now, it’s time to put these ideas into practice instead of letting your company become part of another dispiriting statistic.

If you want any help or support contact ICT Reverse today by giving one of our Account Managers a call on 01524 580900 for help and advice in how to get rid of your old electronic devices responsibly. We’ll walk you through our services and show you how you can use your power to make a difference!