How US Laws Support E-Recycling

People all over the US rely on technology every day. However, as anyone who owns any type of electronic device will know, tech products aren’t meant to last forever. In fact, many electronics don’t have a very long lifespan at all, requiring you to buy them more frequently. This also means discarding your old devices, which often creates a serious problem. Most of us don’t see our electronic devices as being unsafe, as we can use them safely every day, but getting rid of them incorrectly can make them extremely dangerous for us and our environment.

E-waste recycling can help stop electronics ending up in landfills, but unfortunately, many people neglect to do this. The overwhelming majority of electronics don’t get recycled and end up leaking toxic waste in landfills. This can have grave effects and is extremely dangerous, leading many to wonder what laws are in place to prevent this from happening.

Why Do Electronics Need to Be Recycled?

Under certain conditions, our everyday electronic devices can turn into hazardous waste. Ryan Smith, an organic scientist and the founder and owner of Ant and Garden Organic Pest Control, shared with us that the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act "controls hazardous waste, including some toxic electronic waste." Electronics can seep this hazardous waste into the soil and water, which is extremely dangerous to those around it and our entire environment. Waste that ends up in landfills is also often burned, which is extremely dangerous for electronic devices. When electronics are burned in landfills, they realize toxic gases that put workers at risk and spread far beyond the landfills. As most electronics currently become waste in developing countries, it’s extremely important to have laws that require this waste to be taken care of properly and to ensure that resources like printer recycling are available to those who need it. 

Not only is e-waste a huge threat to our environment, safety, and health, but allowing these devices to go to landfills is extremely wasteful. Many electronic devices contain precious metals like gold and silver, as well as other non-renewable resources. These materials are still usable and in demand, so there’s no reason to allow them to go to waste in a landfill. Recycling ensures that materials like this can be reused and prevent us from having to source new materials to make devices in the future. 

What Federal Laws are in Place?

Currently, there is no federal law that prevents people from throwing e-waste into the garbage. While there have been attempts to pass laws that require you to recycle your old electronics, nothing has ever been passed. Although no federal laws prevent this, it’s important to educate the public of the dangers of irresponsibly throwing away electronics and providing e-waste recycling programs to communities. 

Vhanessa Hair, sustainability expert with USInsuranceAgents, shared with us the following. "Federal e-waste regulation is non-existent in the United States, but certain states have adopted state-based standards. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) governs most federal laws regarding solid waste. E-waste legislation holds manufacturers more accountable."

Are There State Laws Requiring E-Waste Recycling?

Just because federal laws don’t require you to recycle e-waste doesn’t mean you can’t get in legal trouble for disposing of it improperly. While there isn’t a federal law requiring that electronics be recycled, many states have implemented their own laws over recent years. This makes it mandatory for both individual households and businesses to recycle electronics like  desktop computers, laptops, printers, and televisions. 

However, you need to be careful regarding who you work with to recycle your unwanted devices. Not all businesses that claim they recycle responsibly and according to the law actually do so. If your state has a recycling act for electronics, you could end up paying thousands of dollars if you’re caught discarding them incorrectly. You could end working with a business that doesn’t actually recycle responsibly, which could end up getting you in trouble, even if you didn’t know. You also need to follow data protection laws and ensure that no private information can be found on your devices, so it’s important to work with a recycling center that also handles data destruction. 

At Newtech Recycling, we provide e-waste recycling programs to businesses and organizations in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, all of which legally require you to recycle your old and unwanted electronics. We can help ensure that all of your old and unwanted devices are taken care of properly. 

Ensure Your Electronics are Recycled Safely

It’s extremely important that everyone makes an effort to prevent their old electronics from becoming hazardous waste, and you may even be legally required to have it recycled. If you’re wondering what to do with an old tablet or any other unwanted electronics, Newtech Recycling can help ensure that they end up in the right place. We have an R2-certification, which ensures responsible e-waste recycling. At Newtech Recycling, we’re proud to be our part to help protect our environment and the health and safety of people all over the world. 

To learn more about the services we offer at Newtech Recycling or to find out how you can get your old electronics recycled, contact us today. 

How to Upcycle Your Electronics Devices

So, we talk a lot about recycling here at Newtech Recycling (we wonder why). It’s all about taking your old electronics that you aren’t using anymore and doing something responsible with them.

Most of the time, we’ll suggest that you recycle your electronic waste with us. Recycling keeps electronics from leaching toxic metals into the soil and water. It also lets us destroy your hard drives and other devices that hold onto your personal data.

That’s a win-win, but you know what else is awesome, green, and hip? Upcycling.

You know what that means: upcycling is the creative or even artistic reuse of materials you would otherwise throw away.

Mavra Mujeeb, Content Marketer at Gun Made, shared with us “We live in a time where upgrading from one gadget to another is a regular practice, due to which we end up generating a ton of e-waste. According to the United Nations Global E-waste Monitor 2020, in 2019 there was a record level of 53.6 million metric tons of electronic waste worldwide.”

The logic here is pretty simple: instead of endangering the environment with your electronic junk, why not take it and repurpose it into some creepy masks, or wall decor, or a new hiding place for your cat?

You can upcycle with pretty much any electronic product you can think of: computer servers, laptops, monitors, TVs, cell phones, and the list goes on.

If you’ve never heard of electronic upcycling but are interested in getting into it, never fear: we’ve going to cover some great ways to upcycle all that old stuff that’s been in limbo in your desk drawers for the last decade.

1. Get Artsy with Your Keyboards

Keyboards come and go. Lots of people have desktop computers in their homes, you know, the ones with detached keyboards that you can unplug and take with you. When it comes time to upgrade the whole system, you have a lot to dispose of, from the monitor to the tower to the mouse and keyboard.

Well, this suggestion is just for the keyboards. Instead of taking the whole keyboard out to the woodshed at the end of its useful life, why not pry some keys off of it, glue them to a homemade frame, and stick the whole contraption on the wall?

What you have the keys spell out will be up to you (we don’t want to know). But you have the chance here to create a piece of art that’s meaningful to you. If you’re a total computer geek, maybe the keys spell the name of the computer from whence they came. Or you could use the numbers to read the year you moved into your house.

The point is, the possibilities are endless here. We’ve even seen people vertically stack a whole bunch of keyboards on the back of a wicker chair to resemble a certain throne from a certain series.

Oh, now you’re intrigued.

2. Get Techy with Your Hard Drives

Now, we get that not everyone will have the tech know-how to disassemble all their old electronic devices to make something new out of them. For those of you who are a bit more familiar with this kind of thing, let’s talk hard drives for a minute.

George Mouratidis, Data-Driven Content Strategist at SIM Tourist, stated “With the ongoing pandemic, many remote employees have upgraded their working setup and bought new monitors, keyboards, and even hard drives. Personally speaking, you can upcycle your electronic devices and earn money out of them. What I usually do with my old electronics is I refurbish them, fix them if they are broken, and sell them. There are a lot of consumers out there that do not have the means of buying a brand new one and they are looking for refurbished ones. So this is one of the best things that you can do to upcycle your old electronics.”

With hard drives, we would normally recommend computer recycling due to the potentially sensitive personal data contained on those drives. But, if you’re feeling creative and know how to do it (or you can follow along with tutorials), we have some suggestions for upcycling your hard drives.

One idea is to remove the interior platters and turn them into wind chimes, provided you have at least two of them or something else that will clang against one.

Legend also has it that people have taken apart their hard drive platters and made wall clocks out of them. You would need the platters themselves along with a quartz clock movement, AA batteries, and a variety of other bits and bobs.

If you can get this done, you will have produced one of the most fruitful conversation-starters that is ever likely to grace the walls of your home.

Lastly, you could convert the empty hard drive case into a storage safe for a few small things such as jewelry. The level of security would be low, but if you’re going for secret and inconspicuous, this would do the trick.

3. Get Homey with Your CRT Monitors

It’s unfortunate that so many people accumulate e-waste for so long because they just don’t know what to do with it otherwise. We just keep it in our homes for decades sometimes because it feels safer that way.

But if you’re tired of seeing your old cathode-ray tube computer and TV monitors from the 90s take up space in your basement, know that people out there have thought up some amazing ideas for them.

Please note well: messing around with cathode-ray tubes can be extremely dangerous. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s best not to bother!

But, in the interest of just letting you know what’s going on out there, some people have basically hollowed out their old CRT monitors and used them for different things. We’ve seen monitors painted fun colors and repurposed as little homes for cats. James Albertson, CEO at In Demand Careers, reiterated this point in telling us “Repurposing old CRT monitors and TVs into pet spaces is an endearing way to get more use out of this obsolete technology. There are quite a few how-to documents on the web that can walk you through converting the casing into a cat or dog bed as well as how to properly and responsibly dispose of the leftover internal components.”

No joke, we’ve also seen CRT monitors used as fish tanks. All it takes is some plexiglass and caulk, but again, you’d best know what you’re doing before trying anything like this. Those old TVs and computer monitors were fine in their day, but they were never meant to be taken apart and explored in this way, so always put safety first!

You can even get crafty and make little keychains or jewelry out of your old keyboard keys or other little metal or plastic pieces. Hey, better they hang harmlessly off your body than seep into the earth and make everything around them toxic and brown.

Rex Freiberger, Co-CEO of Gadget Review, likes to get creative with repurposing old Monitors “One of my favorite projects is taking an old LCD monitor and turning it into a wall display.”

The Bottom Line

What is the bottom line, then? At Newtech Recycling, we implore you to keep your old electronics out of the garbage and get them involved in a more responsible waste management process.

Whether you want to do phone and tablet recycling with us or get creative with your electronic unusables, it’s best to think about the future of the environment when it comes to disposing of your potentially hazardous devices!

The Future of Tech Recycling in 2021

The year 2020 was one of tribulation and change, both in the US and abroad. As the world transitions into a new decade, how will the aftermath of the past year affect the future of tech recycling?

When it comes to recycling technology, strategies and outcomes are often dependent on those manufacturing technology, who themselves cater to those who purchase and use technology. A few decades ago, most households only had one phone, which was rarely replaced. Today, every single person has their own mobile phone, if not more than one, and upgrades happen almost yearly. Desktop disposal rates once dwarfed laptop disposal rates, but that has gradually reversed.

What changes await the tech recycling industry in 2021?

Here are some predictions.

More Demand = More Waste

As our technology has grown more advanced while simultaneously growing more affordable, demand for electronics devices has exploded. Progress is so swift that consumers have struggled to keep up, which has only led to more demand. People want to have the latest and greatest tech products, while the industry renders last year’s models obsolete with extreme rapidity. The result? Increased tech demand leads to increased tech waste.

This cycle isn’t expected to slow down any time soon. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic may have exacerbated it. According to a report by the consumer research firm NDP Group, 2020 marked a year of historic growth for the electronics market, with sales growing by 17%. Those sales are expected to gain additional 12% growth during the first quarter of 2021. And while this number is expected to lower by around 2% by the end of the year, it still marks a noticeable increase from pre-pandemic sales numbers.

Furthermore, with pandemic restrictions gradually relenting concurrent with the successful rollout of new 5G networks, sales of mobile tech products like phones, chargers, headphones, tablets, and lightweight laptops are expected to surge. Considering that these devices are some of the most frequently discarded—the average consumer replaces their mobile phone once every 18 months—the amount of electronic waste is also expected to climb.

Just as increased tech demand creates increased tech waste, increased tech waste creates an increased demand for tech recycling.

The United States Is Catching Up

Although the total amount of electronic waste is on the rise worldwide, in the US more and more that discarded tech is being recycled. The most recent numbers available from The Global E-Waste Statistics Partnership show that waste management efforts in 2019 resulted in the US having a 15% e-waste collection rate.

Although this number puts the US far behind a handful of countries—Norway which has a rate of 72%, Sweden is at 70%, the UK is at 57%, and France is at 56%—the vast majority of developed countries have similar rates—Japan is at 22%, China is at 16%, Canada is at 14%, Australia is at 11%, and Russia is at 6%. More importantly, however, this number indicates growth. In 2015, for instance, the US e-waste collection rate sat at 12%, with each subsequent year showing consistent improvement.

This means that the US is catching up when it comes to electronic waste management, and even doing better than some other countries. This trend is likely to continue as recycling technology, instead of merely throwing it away, becomes a more visible—and viable—option.

Economic Cost Vs. Environmental Cost

As noted above, educating consumers about the benefits of tech recycling and the dangers of unrecovered e-waste has helped the US make significant headway in improving its collection rate. Indeed, the non-profit Waste & Resources Action Programme has identified several barriers which tend to prevent people from recycling, one of the largest of these barriers being a lack of awareness regarding what items can be recycled, how to do it, and why it’s important.

Whatever progress is made by those within the tech recycling industry, it is up to the consumer to actively choose to recycle. This makes outreach, education, and promotion key pillars of 2021’s e-waste reduction strategy.

One subtle shift in the future of e-waste that has the potential to greatly reframe pro-recycling messaging is the phasing out of legacy technologies. With fewer cathode-ray-tube televisions left in the wild, the amount of toxic substances—lead, mercury, etc.—in the waste stream is slowly diminishing. While that’s a good thing for the environment, it’s balanced out by the surge in computing technologies on the market. This, in turn, is leading to an increase in the amount of rare and valuable metals—gold, platinum, etc.—that are ending up in landfills.

While the environmental effects of e-waste remain a major concern, this shift nevertheless suggests that economical concerns are set to play an increasingly large role in promoting recycling efforts, and that recyclers could benefit from re-emphasizing the economic impact of e-waste.

How Does Tech Recycling Work?

Almost everyone is used to tossing items like glass and plastic into recycling bins. For many of the items we use every day, we know they have to be recycled and have easy access to recycling services. However, these aren’t the only things we need to worry about recycling, and not everything is as easy as putting something in your regular recycling bin and getting it picked up at your house. Most people use tech devices every day, and eventually, you’ll need to get rid of your current devices. When this time comes, you’ll need to find recycling services meant just for electronic equipment. 

In many states, you’re legally required to recycle your old electronics, but even in areas where this isn’t mandatory, electronics recycling is still extremely important. If you aren’t familiar with how tech recycling works or why it’s important, now is the time to find out.

Why is Tech Recycling Important?

Since you use tech devices every day, you might not think of them as being dangerous in any way. While these devices are safe when they’re maintained, they can become extremely hazardous when they’re exposed to the elements in landfills. Toxins from old electronics can seep into the ground and nearby water. Many landfills also burn the materials they get, which causes additional concerns. Burning the materials inside of discarded electronics creates harmful smoke that puts workers at great risk and can travel far, affecting many people. The toxins in our electronics release a harmful impact on the health of people all over the world, as well as devastating effects on our environment. Unfortunately, many unwanted devices and electronics still end up in landfills every year, with there being millions of tons of e-waste in landfills. 

Like all recycling programs, server recycling and other services help ensure that materials that can be reused see a second life. Many devices also contain precious metal that is in limited supply. You might not realize it, but your everyday devices contain materials like gold, silver, platinum, and copper. Once we’ve used up all these resources, there will be no way to get them back. Sending materials like this to waste away in landfills is a huge waste of resources that could have been reused had they been properly recycled. E-waste recycling keeps us from having to source new materials and requires less energy for new products to be made. 

How are Electronics Recycled?

Electronics recycling can be difficult to understand and what exactly it entails depends on the materials. One of the most important parts of the recycling process is separating the materials in electronics. Electronics are shredded, which makes it easy for different elements of old devices and equipment to be removed. This means sorting through glass, plastic, and the precious metals found in electronics. Different methods of separation are used to retrieve different materials, such as powerful magnets used to separate iron and steel from the rest of the materials. These technologies help make separating materials from old electronics as efficient as possible and prevent any materials from being missed. After all the shredded materials are separated, they’re ready to be resold for new products.

What are Recycled Electronics Used For?

After all the materials are sorted and sold, you might be wondering where everything ends up. Recycled materials from old electronics can be reused for many products. Of course, many of the recycled materials from old recycles are ideal to use for new electronics. However, new electronics are far from the only thing recycled electronics can be used to make. For example, metals from old electronics can be used to create just about anything you would normally use metal for, like jewelry. 

Find Out How Newtech Recycling Can Help

We all rely on technology to live our lives, so we’re all responsible for making sure our electronic waste is recycled correctly. Recycling your unwanted electronics might not be as simple as putting them in the recycling bin, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. E-waste recycling services and ITAD companies are vital in today’s society and will continue to be as we try to manage the growing e-waste problem. At Newtech Recycling, we know how detrimental e-waste can be and are dedicated to providing services that make it easy for you to recycle your unwanted electronics. 

If you have old electronics that you don’t know what to do with or want to know more about how IT equipment recycling companies work, contact Newtech Recycling today.

6 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, carbon emissions are expected to increase dramatically throughout 2021 and 2022. This despite the fact that carbon emissions account for nearly 80% of all greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere.

Environmentally friendly options for everything from household appliances to global transportation are cheaper and more widely available than ever. So why are people still struggling to reduce their carbon footprint at home? In some cases, it might be because they don’t know the best ways to do that.

Here, then, are 6 helpful tips we can all use to cut down on energy waste:

1. Recycle E-Waste Correctly

There’s a reason Newtech Recycling and other IT equipment recycling companies have made it their mission to help people dispose of their electronic devices responsibly. With nearly 10 million tons of unwanted tech discarded annually—including computers, mobile phones, photocopiers, televisions, and more—e-waste is one of the biggest environmental hazards of the modern age.

Why is that? First, it’s because of the components that are used in the manufacture of these devices. Many people don’t realize that the technology they use every day contains such toxic substances as polybrominated diphenyl ethers and polybrominated biphenyls, common flame retardants with harmful carbon emissions. The other big problem with e-waste is how a lot of people get rid of it, namely by throwing it in landfills instead of recycling it correctly.

2. Conserve Water Usage

One simple way that anyone can reduce their carbon footprint at home is to conserve their water usage. Often, the effects of water waste on the environment go overlooked, but the impact is considerable. Pumping, treating, and heating water uses up 3% of America’s energy production each year, with the bulk of that energy coming from fossil fuels.

Silvia Borges with EnviroMom told us how easy it is to start conserving water. “When I decided to start living a greener life, I started with water conservation since it sounded easiest and most seamless of changes. Tiny adjustments to our daily routines can save dozens of gallons of water per person every month.”

Considering that a toilet flush can waste up to 7 gallons of water, that’s a lot of precious power down the toilet, literally. To cut back on excess water use, avoid taking long showers, flushing tissues and other items down the toilet, and leaving the faucet running when washing dishes, shaving, or brushing your teeth.

3. Try Energy-Efficient Appliances

As the importance of environmental preservation becomes a bigger part of the public consciousness, attempts have been made to promote energy efficiency in a multitude of ways. Some of these ways may seem very small, but even small steps can add up to something big over time.

A good example of this idea is the proliferation of energy-efficient appliances that are currently available. Though usually comparable in price to less energy-efficient versions, eco-friendly LED lightbulbs, refrigerators, and washing machines require a lot less power to function. This, in turn, has a bonus advantage: lowering your monthly utility bills.

4. Use Renewable Energy

One of the biggest contributors to global climate change remains fossil fuel usage, with an estimated 81% of all energy in America coming from oil, coal, and natural gas. Aside from the damage that these energy sources do to the environment on their own, they also require a lot of labor and environmental destruction to produce and transport. Add to this the fact that fossil fuels are finite and gradually depleting, and the necessity for sustainable energy alternatives becomes apparent.

In that sense, switching to renewable energy sources like solar power and wind turbines isn’t just a way of reducing greenhouse gases; it’s also a vital step in ensuring humanity’s future. Consider signing up for an energy-saving utility program, joining a community solar farm, or even installing solar panels on your roof.

5. Travel More Conservatively

Everyone knows that automobiles are one of the guiltiest culprits when it comes to carbon emissions. While advances have been made in forms of transportations that use other fuel sources, not everyone has access to such cutting-edge vehicles. One thing we all have access to, however, is good judgment.

Simply put, you don’t have to drive a brand new, top-of-the-line hybrid automobile to travel more in a more ecologically friendly way. You don’t even have to get rid of your car. You just have to plan out how much you use it. Instead of driving to the store every time you need a carton of milk or taking your car for short trips to your friend’s house two blocks over, try only going out when you absolutely need to. Shop for multiple items at once. Walk or carpool when you have the opportunity. 

John Murphy shared that he chooses to travel using an electric bike instead or a car. “I reduce my carbon footprint by using an electric bike for any short trips into town instead of taking the car.” Small changes like the one John made can have a very large impact on your individual carbon footprint. 

6. Upgrade Less Often

We all love the technology that makes our lives easier: phones, computers, copy machines, television sets, you name it. The only thing many of us enjoy more than showing our latest gadgets off to all our friends is upgrading to a newer, better model. These days, it’s become increasingly difficult to keep up with the rapid upgrade cycle, with some devices feeling obsolete before we even take them out of the box.

The result of all this upgrading is a veritable tsunami of tech flooding stores, homes, and ultimately garbage dumps. Phone and tablet recycling can help, but increasing demand is hard to keep up with. Increased demand means a need for more precious metals like gold, lead, mercury, and aluminum, and that means more destructive mining. If reducing your carbon footprint at home is important to you, hold out a little longer before buying that new flatscreen TV or switching to the latest iPhone.

A New Bill Could Clean Up Recycling in America

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that the U.S. recycling industry is in a bad spot. This is due to a range of factors that include the quality of American recyclables, China, and the pandemic.

For years, China was a reliable recycling partner that accepted U.S. paper and plastics so it could make new products from them. It was an affordable option that kept everything moving along in the United States.

In 2018, however, China stopped taking most plastics and mixed paper recyclables, citing that they were soiled with hazardous waste. Then, the U.S. market of recycled single-use plastics shot up drastically once the COVID-19 pandemic got underway.

The result? Residents throughout the United States have been learning from their city or county waste management companies that the market for their recyclables has disappeared. These municipalities have been doing one of two things: either paying more for U.S.-based recyclers to take their paper, plastic, and metals or simply throw the recyclables away in the garbage.

In the latter case, the materials end up in landfills. At Newtech Recycling, we know the effects of e-waste on water and other areas of the environment. It’s too critical to ignore this problem. So, what is the solution here?

We’re covering one way this could go: following the example of New York, as reported in this story from The New York Times.

The New York Recycling Bill

Recent goings-on in the state of New York provide some guidance on what can be done. Two Democratic state lawmakers, Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblyman Steve Englebright, recently introduced a recycling bill that could serve as a model for the rest of the country.

The bill’s primary purpose is to make New York’s recycling programs profitable again, but not only that: the bill leaves open the possibility of creating more clean-energy jobs and even making the state’s garbage sorting more sophisticated.

If passed, the recycling bill would go a long way toward helping local recycling efforts throughout New York. The legislation would require big-time product manufacturers to pay for the costs of recycling their packaging; smaller manufacturers would not have to do this. The concept of putting the recycling onus on manufacturers rather than consumers is known as extended producer responsibility.

If the New York bill passes, municipalities across the state would start recouping the millions of dollars in tax money they have been paying for their own recycling. Another result would be the reining in of manufacturers’ current ability to do whatever they want regarding the recyclable nature of their product packaging. For instance, if certain kinds of labels are placed on otherwise recyclable bottles, the entire product becomes non-recyclable and therefore the responsibility of the consumer to throw out.

New York’s Kaminsky has also addressed the possibility of manufacturers exploiting their new recycling costs by simply passing the expenses on to consumers. He said the law can be structured in ways that prevent price gouging. Any increases in product prices due to such packaging requirements would be minimal, he claimed, since those costs would be diffused throughout entire industries.

Reactions to the Recycling Bill

The state of New York has ventured into extended producer responsibility before; state recycling laws have gone after paint, thermometers, and tech recycling, but these specific product types barely made a dent in the state’s recycling efforts. Conversely, the new recycling bill covers the more common recyclables of paper, plastic, glass, and metal, which together make up almost half of the state’s e-waste.

Extended producer responsibility is considered an effective way to address recycling and sustainability. Instead of punishing people and organizations for not recycling, it encourages green packaging as a choice: “Make recyclable packaging and save money.”

Some waste disposal managers in New York have hailed the state bill as a way forward for New Yorkers, both in terms of its consumer-friendliness and the environmental impacts it is expected to have.

New York is also setting an example for certain other states--including California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, and Oregon--that are now looking at recycling bills of their own. As initiatives such as this progress in the United States, even some opponents are getting onboard, since they at least want to have a say in how the process will work rather than simply be told later how things are.

When it comes to important matters such as network equipment recycling and any other efforts to keep dangerous materials out of the earth, it is really up to governments to make the big calls. Governor of New York Andrew M. Cuomo has not publicly commented on the extended producer responsibility bill yet, but the legislation remains in play for the spring.

E-Scrap Stockpile Case Ends in Settlement

E-waste is a huge issue all over the world. While it’s important for individuals to take responsibility for their unwanted electronics, it’s especially important for businesses to do this. Companies own a huge amount of electronics that contain hazardous material that needs to be taken care of properly. 

To help prevent electronics from ending up in landfills and creating toxic waste, special processing facilities handle our unwanted electronics by providing techwaste recycling. When companies need to get rid of unwanted electronics, they may ship them to places like this to have them taken care of. Not only is it important for the environment for these materials to be recycled correctly, but many companies could be legally required to ensure that their old electronics are recycled. 

While the companies that help recycle old electronics responsibly and prevent more e-waste from accumulating in landfills are extremely important, doing this isn’t always easy, and they aren’t always able to handle this huge amount of waste. 

What Happens to Unwanted Electronics?

A good example of what can sometimes happen with unwanted electronics is a recent case involving Closed Loop Refining and Recovery and many electronics manufacturers who sent them e-scrap. Closed Loop Refining and Recovery was founded in 2010 with the intention of finding a way to recycle cathode ray tubes (CRT) found in televisions and computer monitors. CRT can be extremely toxic when they’re discarded and end up in landfills, so electronics recycling is an important part of preventing this waste from occurring. However, Closed Loop failed in 2016, leaving behind over 100 million pounds of scrap electronics. The landlords who owned the warehouses used by Closed Loop were then left with this huge amount of waste. 

This amount of e-waste places an enormous responsibility on the landlords, and materials like CRT need to be taken care of according to environmental regulations. Not only is recycling this amount of CRT a challenge, but it’s also a huge financial expense. 

With millions of pounds of CRT still in Closed Loop’s warehouses needing to be taken care of, the landlords who own these warehouses have had to take legal action. The landlords of these warehouses sued dozens of electronics manufacturers that shipped materials to Closed Loop. The landlords of the warehouses claim that the electronic manufacturers are responsible for assisting in the cleanup of the scrap electronics left behind. These companies participate in state extended producer responsibility laws, which require them to help fund e-waste recycling if they want to sell their products in those states. 

One of the electronics manufacturers who sent these materials to the warehouses is Sony Electronics. Sony did agree to pay $1.2 million to help the warehouses remove some of the e-scrap they shipped to the warehouses. The electronics manufacturer’s agreement would help remove around 5.5% of the materials scrap companies sent to the warehouses. Sony’s payment of $1.2 million was determined by looking at the company’s market share, not the amount of materials they shipped to Closed Loop. The other companies that have settled in the case have determined their payment based on the amount of materials they sent to the warehouses and have typically paid 14 cents per pound of materials. The $1.2 million that Sony has agreed to pay would be similar to what other companies settled paid to clean up the materials. So far, 25 other defendants in the case have reached settlements, which totals to over $3.1 million to help clean up the e-scrap that was left behind in the warehouses. 

However, not all defendants involved in the case have reached settlements. There are several companies that were sued by the landlords of the Closed Loop warehouses that claim they have no legal responsibility to help clean up the materials they sent to the warehouses. According to some of these companies, the responsibility should be on the landlords to clean up the materials instead. 

Recycle Your Old Electronics Responsibly 

E-waste is a huge issue that everyone should be concerned about. Recycling industries need to continue to handle e-waste carefully to ensure that this is recycled properly. At Newtech Recycling, we understand what a growing problem this is and the consequences that e-waste such as CRT ending up in landfills can have. When you need help with things like a PC recycle, you can trust that Newtech Recycling will handle it responsibly. 

Contact Newtech Recycling today to learn more about our recycling process and the services we offer, such as our safe computer disposal

10 Things You Probably Don’t Recycle but Should

E-waste, or electronic waste, is one of the biggest dangers facing the environment today. Almost 10 million tons of unwanted, outdated, or nonfunctioning electronics are dumped into U.S. landfills every year. Yasir Nawaz, digital content producer at PureVPN, stated “It’s fascinating how wasteful we can be, especially when there are so many items that we can easily recycle.”

You may not realize it, but much of the technology you use in your everyday life contains toxic substances. When not properly recycled, all that hazardous waste ends up seeping into our natural resources. It finds its way into the air we breathe and the water we drink, and ultimately it finds its way into us. The results? E-waste’s effects on the human body are varied and include such life-threatening conditions as cancer, neurological disease, lead poisoning, respiratory illness, organ damage, and more.

So then, why don’t more people donate their unwanted tech to e-waste recycling programs or use professional disposal services like Newtech Recycling? After all, scheduling a pick-up is fast and easy, and our New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection-approved recycling facilities not only keep toxic e-waste from contaminating the earth but also harvest valuable components that can be reused in the manufacture of newer, better technology.

In many cases, people don’t realize what kinds of items count as e-waste. Even worse, they don’t realize how poisonous the materials inside those items really are. Here, then, are ten everyday objects you may not realize have a huge impact on the environment. Next time, instead of throwing them in the garbage can, recycle these items. Mother Earth will thank you.

Mobile Devices

Smart phones, tablets, portable media players, and PDA devices are among the most popular consumer electronics available today. They’re also among the most replaced. Phones in particular are often replaced with newer, fancier models long before their usefulness has ceased. More than 350,000 smart phones are disposed of every day. Luckily, proper phone and tablet recycling can help keeps such harmful materials as mercury, cadmium, chlorine, and bromine out of landfills.

TVs & Computer Monitors

The bigger the device, the harder it is to get rid of. That’s why televisions and computer monitors often end up in places they don’t belong. Older CRT TVs and monitors are especially deadly, with large amounts of phosphor dust and up to eight pounds of lead, but newer models have their own dangers. Researchers have found that modern LCD TVs contain approximately 100 potentially toxic chemicals, while LED TVs contain hazardous waste substances like arsenic, lead, nickel, and copper, as well as a type of flame retardant linked to various developmental disorders.

Household Appliances

Microwaves, refrigerators, air conditioners, and toasters might not be the first things you think of when you think of modern technology. And, admittedly, they’re nowhere near as advanced as computers and cell phones. But all of these household appliances, plus many more, are just as environmentally hazardous. The fluorinated hydrocarbons in your fridge and air conditioner can cause arrhythmia and other heart conditions, while the beryllium in your microwave and toaster can damage your lungs permanently.

Office Equipment

Recycling old photocopiers, fax machines, scanners, and printers might seem like a lot of work, especially when you work in an office that uses a lot of them. At Newtech Recycling, we do our best to make it easier, offering on-site electronic pick-ups so you can rest easy. And resting easy is something you can definitely do knowing that the antimony, barium, cadmium, lead, bromine, and other substances contained in those devices won’t end up contaminating the soil, air, or water

Power Tools

Much like household appliances, power tools aren’t usually associated with e-waste, which is often associated with IT equipment and mobile devices. E-waste is just what the name implies, however, electronic waste, and that definitely includes power tools. Whether it’s a cordless drill, reciprocating saw, belt sander, heat gun, or nail gun, if it’s portable then it likely uses a battery that contains nickel, cadmium, and/or lithium, not to mention copper or aluminum wiring and other metallic components.

Wires & Cables

Many of us know what it’s like to end up with all kinds of miscellaneous wires and cables. Whether it’s a bunch of old USB, HDMI, or RCA cords, these things often end up sitting in the bottom of some drawer in our entertainment centers, doing nothing but collecting dust. If you plan to get rid of them in the process of decluttering, though, donate or recycle instead of just throwing them out. Most wires and cables contain harmful lead compounds, as well as reusable copper and aluminum.

Hard Drives

Proper hard drive and server disposal are among the most important e-waste recycling practices for both businesses and individuals alike. Why? Because not only do computers contain numerous hazardous waste substances, they also store all manner of sensitive data. That includes everything from private correspondences to banking information and medical records. Even wiping your computer isn’t enough to stop a skilled hacker from recovering that data. Only a professional hard drive shredding service like Newtech Recycling can guarantee your personal information stays safe.

Electronics Accessories

Once you’ve taken care of your hard drive and your monitor, you might think your computer recycling days are done. Think again. Computer accessories such as your speakers, mouse, and keyboard contain many of the same heavy metals and pollutants. That’s equally true for other kinds of electronics accessories, such as phone chargers, video game controllers, and wireless headphones. Recycle these items to help keep lithium, chlorine, lead, and other poisons.

Fluorescent Lamps

You’ve probably heard that fluorescent lights are hazardous to your health, but you may not have heard why. A big reason is because of the mercury they have inside. Mercury is an extremely deadly toxin that can damage many vital organs, including the brain, nervous system, kidneys, and lungs. Fluorescent bulbs are doubly dangerous because of how fragile they are. When one breaks, it doesn’t just snap cleanly into two pieces, but often creates a puff of glass “powder” that is all too easy to inhale.

Medical & Lab Equipment

Despite all the hazards that come with using it irresponsibly, technology has the potential to make all of our lives better. Nowhere is that dichotomy embodied better than in medical and lab equipment. These devices keep us healthy and help us develop new medicines. Without taking appropriate lab equipment recycling practices into consideration, though, they can do just as much bad as good, thanks to their frequent use of phthalates, flame retardants, mercury, and other components.

Your Smart Phone is Poisoning the Planet

If you were only allowed to use one modern technological device for the rest of your life, what would it be?

For many of us, the answer would probably be our smart phones. It wasn’t that long ago that most families only had one phone to share, and it was usually a landline installed in their home by a phone company technician. Today, though, every member of the family has their own smart phone, and they take it with them everywhere. To work. To school. On vacation. Even into the bathroom.

More than just phones, these devices are portable computers providing 24/7 access to all the knowledge and communication capabilities of the Internet. What would we do without them?

Maybe a better question is “What are they doing to the environment?”

Hopefully, once we understand the answer to that question, we can start asking an equally important one: “What can we do to repair the damage?”

How Do Smart Phones Impact the Environment?

The two big problems with smart phones are the same two big problems facing all modern technology. First, the manufacturing of so many electronic devices today involves hazardous chemicals that, when disposed of carelessly, pose a major threat not only to the environment but also to human health. Yawer Malik, digital marketing pro at Cloudways, shared with us that "Over 1.5 Billion smartphones are being sold in a year, but the recycling process never carries out as compared to the selling ratio. Only 15% of devices are being recycled properly. Smartphones contain hundreds of finite materials that include rare earth elements minerals. If mobile phones are not properly recycled they can be harmful to human life because they release toxic chemicals and metal into the air and waterways causing harm to people."

The other big problem is us. Or more specifically, how irresponsible we often are when it comes to getting rid of our old devices. If everyone followed good tech recycling practices, the danger of e-waste would be almost nonexistent. Unfortunately, too few of us do that. Studies show that Americans throw away more than 350,000 phones daily, resulting in 9.4 million tons of e-waste pollution every year.

One reason for this might be because of how few of us know what’s actually inside our phones. More than just plastic and glass, these pocket-sized machines require many components that are as volatile as they are valuable. Richard Latimer, CEO of Veritas Homebuyers, shared with us that "Smartphone batteries and circuit boards are absolutely horrible for the environment and horrible for humans as well. There are many heavy metals in the printed circuit boards and batteries that include, lead, nickel, beryllium, mercury, lithium, and other toxic metals. When the phone is thrown in the trash and ends up in a landfill the battery will start to corrode and break down. As the phone breaks down the toxic waste leeches in the soil where it ends up in our water supply. Also, Lithium batteries tend to explode when exposed to the elements and cause underground landfill fires to start."

Also commonly used in smart phone manufacturing are things called BFRs (short for “brominated flame retardant”). BFRs are very good for preventing malfunctioning electronics from catching fire. Unfortunately, they’re also highly poisonous to humans and animals, capable of severely damaging both our nervous and reproductive systems.

Responsible phone and tablet recycling practices keep these substances out of our soil, air, and water. However, when such practices are ignored in favor of haphazardly throwing old electronics in the garbage, those electronics usually end up in landfills. There, they gradually deteriorate over time, releasing the hazardous chemicals within. These toxins can then seep into the ground, get carried by rainfall into nearby water supplies, or even travel for miles on currents of wind.

What Can Be Done to Reverse the Situation?

As serious as today’s environmental situation is, it’s far from hopeless. In fact, there are many things that both individuals and businesses can do to help reduce the negative environmental impact of smart phone usage.

For starters, we can all make a point of using our devices for longer. Often, the lure of cutting-edge new technology seduces us into throwing out our old phones, tablets, and computers long before they actually need to be replaced. More frequent upgrades not only increase the likelihood of these devices being disposed of improperly, it also increases market demand.

The only way for a phone company to satisfy that demand is with increased manufacturing. More manufacturing means more mining for components such as palladium, copper, nickel, gold, and platinum, and that means more environmental damage.

The best way for people to do their part to reduce e-waste pollution, though, is by following proper electronic waste recycling practices. First and foremost, that means not simply discarding our unwanted devices into landfills as if they were harmless paper products or spoiled leftovers. Modern technology needs to be handled much more carefully.

No one knows that fact better than Newtech Recycling. From the moment we opened our original Bridgewater electronics recycling plant, Newtech Recycling has strived to meet the e-waste disposal needs of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Our meticulous recycling program breaks down every single device into component parts. Instead of being left to decay and contaminate our natural resources, these components can then be reentered into the manufacturing process and used in the creation of newer, better electronics.

For more information on how Newtech Recycling can help you get rid of your unwanted technology in an ethical, efficient, and environmentally friendly way, contact us today.

8 Ways to Safely Manage and Recycle E-Waste

E-waste is one of the most pressing environmental issues we have today, and it’s something many of us play a role in. As we become more and more dependent on electronics and buy electronics more often, the amount of electronic waste will continue to rise if nothing is done to stop it. Although e-waste is a huge concern, we can all do our part to help prevent it from getting worse.

Here are eight ways to safely manage e-waste and prevent it from growing. 

Learn the Important of Managing E-Waste

The first thing you should do to help reduce the amount of e-waste you create is to learn the importance of preventing e-waste. Many people might not be fully aware of the worldwide e-waste problem that affects each one of us. If you’re unaware of the dangerous chemicals that e-waste has, you might not fully understand why it’s so important to stop it, or you might not feel like you need to do as much as you can to help. Before doing anything else, educate yourself and others in your life on the effects e-waste has on the environment and what you can do to help.

Buy Only What You Need

Many of us tend to over-buy items that we don’t really need, which can create a lot of unnecessary waste. To reduce the amount of e-waste being produced, you need to make sure you aren’t consuming more than you need. Maybe you’re replacing some computers at work, and decide it’s better to replace them all at once, even though you don’t need them. You might also just want a newer version of a device even though the one you have is fine. Before buying anything, ask yourself if it’s really necessary. Being smarter about buying electronics is a great way to help prevent more e-waste from occurring. 

Keep a List of What You Have

Individuals and companies might not always be aware of the number of devices and accessories for those devices they actually have. Things can easily get misplaced and forgotten about, so you might have more than you need already. You don’t want to think you need to buy something, not knowing that you already have it or let it go to waste. To help make you aware of exactly all the electronics you own, keep a list of what you have. 

Take Care of What You Have

We all know how easily electronics can break. Of course, sometimes damage is out of your control, so you can’t always prevent electronics from breaking. Still, doing everything you can to expand the lives of your electronics will help you keep them longer, so you don’t have to rebuy them as often. This is also a great way of saving you money, and once you make a habit of maintaining your devices, it’s very easy to do.

Donate Old Electronics That Still Work

Just because you’re done using something doesn’t necessarily mean you have to recycle it just yet. There are plenty of instances where people get rid of old electronics that still have life left in them. If your old devices are still usable, consider donating to people who could benefit from them. While recycling is extremely important, there’s no reason to recycle old devices when they’re still in good shape.

Utilize the Cloud

Today, there isn’t as much need for hard drives to store everything you need. Instead, you can keep everything stored in the cloud. This can help make everything you need easily accessible and makes it easier to share with others, but it’s also good for anyone concerned about e-waste. By normalizing the use of the cloud, you can help reduce the demand that’s normally placed on hard drives.

Protect Your Data

Sensitive data that you don’t want other people to get access to is harder to get rid of than you might think. Before you donate, sell, or recycle any old electronics, you need to be sure that your data is fully wiped from it. At Newtech Recycling, we can help ensure that your data is completely wiped before recycling so that you can get rid of unwanted devices as safely as possible.

Find Your Local Recycling Center

Electronics don’t get recycled the same way your other recyclable items do. Disposing of electronic devices the right way is easy but does require you to take some extra steps. To recycle your old electronics, you’ll need to find your local e-waste recycling center. You also want to make sure that anywhere you bring old electronics to be recycled is taken care of properly. This helps ensure that no electronic waste ends up in landfills.

Contact Newtech Recycling today to learn more about how we can help with electronic waste recycling