Climate change is arguably the gravest environmental crisis facing the world today, perhaps the gravest in human history. It’s also one whose full scope and understanding isn’t always easy to grasp. 

It’s easy to view the weather as simply background noise in our lives, not something that we as individual people have any impact on. But the truth is we do have an impact, and the only way to ensure it is a positive one is for us to educate ourselves about what climate changes is, what causes it, and what we can do to prevent it. Torben Lonne with DIVEIN explained that, “Everything that humans do contributes to global warming in some way.”

As an environmentally conscious hardware recycling company, Newtech Recycling believes we all have to do our part to protect the Earth for future generations. By breaking down your old computers, cell phones, copiers, fax machines, and the like, we are able to recover and reuse the various types of metals in electronics. Reintroducing these materials into the manufacturing industry helps keep deadly pollutants out of our air, water, and soil.

What Factors Are Behind Climate Change?

Like all aspects of the environment, the Earth’s climate is maintained by a delicate and complex balance of factors. Alterations in any one has have dramatic consequences for all the others. At the most basic level, climate works like this: the Earth is heated by energy from the sun, and it cools when that energy is released by the atmosphere back into space.

This process is disrupted, however, by something called “the greenhouse effect,” wherein an overabundance of gases like carbon monoxide, methane, and nitrous oxide traps that heat inside the Earth’s atmosphere.  Mikkel Gade Henrichsen with Climaider stared that “Statistically speaking, burning fossil fuels are by far the single most contributing factor to climate change, accounting for about a third of the world’s greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions.” All that extra heat builds up over time, causing small weather fluctuations that gradually become much, much bigger. The result? Rising sea levels, melting ice caps, endangered ecosystems, and an alarming increase in floods, heatwaves, and tropical storms.

A number of things contribute to this excessive build-up of greenhouse gasses. Scott Laskey with Sandbar Solar & Electric told us that “The biggest contributor to climate change is carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions.” However today, we would like to talk about how the improper disposal of unwanted electronics contributes to climate change.

How Does E-Waste Contribute to Climate Change?

Electronics waste, or e-waste, is one of the most significant contributors to climate change, in part because e-waste is one of the most poorly understood and poorly controlled forms of pollution today. Around 50 million cubic tons of e-waste is improperly discarded in landfills every year. As electronic devices degrade, they release deadly toxins into the environment, including the aforementioned greenhouse gases. In fact, the EPA estimates that 100 pounds of e-waste produces more than 260 pounds of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of burning almost 15 gallons of gasoline.

That’s not the only way e-waste exacerbates climate change. Casper Ohm with told us that commercial and residential buildings are responsible for about 12% “Maintaining residential buildings by heating and cooling them, and managing their waste.” Many people don’t realize that their household appliances contain many rare and precious metals. What precious metals are in your old electronics? Gold, platinum, mercury, silver, copper, zinc, palladium, nickel, bismuth, iron, and antimony are all common materials used in the manufacture of computers, mobile phones, refrigerators, televisions, and the like.

The value of all those metals unceremoniously discarded in landfills? Almost $60 million annually. Not only is that $60 million worth of metals lost every year, that’s an additional $60 million worth of metals that need to be mined in order to continue producing essential technology. Mining itself is another major contributor to climate change, requiring large amounts of energy and creating even larger amounts of pollution.

How Can Newtech Recycling Fight Climate Change?

Newtech Recycling is committed to making it easier for individuals and businesses to get rid of their unwanted electronics in a convenient, ethical, and environmentally sustainable way.

Many people don’t know how to dispose of old copiers, monitors, phones, and IT equipment, so they just end up throwing them away alongside their crumpled up sticky notes and half-eaten ham sandwiches. Unlike paper and food products, though, tech devices do not safely and quickly biodegrade. Instead, they leak toxic substances into our earth, air, and water.

That’s why Newtech Recycling offers on-site e-waste pick-up. Once transported to our New Jersey DEP-approved facilities, you can rest assured that your unwanted electronics will be disassembled in a way that allows their component parts to be reused in the production of new technology.

Help us save the world one busted laptop at a time. Contact Newtech Recycling today!