E-waste is problematic in the environmental and health hazards it can cause upon being thrown away in the garbage. Let’s explain the basics of this.

For those who don’t know, e-waste consists of electronics and electrical devices that have surpassed their useful lives and are now considered junk or scrap. Now, why does e-waste pose the great dangers we mentioned above? It is because most electronics contain heavy metals that, when they leach into the ground of a landfill, can pollute the soil and water and kill parts of nearby ecosystems. Groundwater from landfills can run miles away from these sites, spreading that pollution elsewhere.

It makes sense, then, that people try to control the depositing of e-waste in landfills by engaging in responsible e-waste recycling. This type of recycling can truly fix our way out of the growing e-waste problem in the United States.

Before we discuss other solutions, we will look briefly at some e-waste background.

What Is E-Waste Like in the United States?

The United States creates around 10 million tons of e-waste a year, with numbers fluctuating around that number in different years. However, only a small portion of that is actually recycled in responsible ways.

The majority of American e-waste ends up in landfills, where other general refuse is dumped. Newer landfills have plastic liners under them to seal off their materials from the environment, but many older landfills do not have such liners. This means their contents can seep into the earth over time, causing great pollution.

This is a particular problem with e-waste, since much of it contains metals such as cadmium, cobalt, lead, and mercury. These can be deadly if ingested by animals or taken in by plants.

It is up to us to respond to this growing problem in the United States. E-waste recycling is one solution. But what are some others?

Possible Solutions to the U.S. E-Waste Problem

We asked around to get some ideas on what else can be done to reduce the United States’ e-waste production. Here are some possibilities.

Turn E-Waste into Chromebooks

Drew Darnbrough of Neverware suggested the following: “For anyone with old computers that still work (and even some that don’t!), you can always try turning them into a Chromebook for free with our CloudReady Home Edition OS.”

This is certainly one option: getting the Chrome environment on old devices, even outdated computers that might otherwise be thrown away and become hazardous e-waste.

Take an Ordered Approach

Another e-waste solution is to construct an ordered, formalized approach to the entire problem. Paul Katzoff of White Canyon had this to say about the issue:

“We feel that the only way to eradicate e-waste completely in the U.S. is to follow these steps:

  1. Properly list where all batteries should be disposed of and how many batteries each device has.
  2. Provide disposal recommendations on LCD screens, plastic body cases, electric cords, and chipboards.
  3. Motivate the electronics industry to create only fully recyclable components.
  4. Create plastics that decompose in 50 years for all e-components to remove microplastics from the environment.
  5. Each electronic component must be certified 100% recyclable before import or sale in the U.S. Penalties must be attached for any store selling non-recyclable electronics.”

Reduce the Number of Devices

Another possible solution to the United States’ e-waste problem is simply to reduce the number of devices that are extant throughout the country. Aleksandra Wronecka of Value Logic suggested a product that can help.

“Its name is Bookado, and it is a room reservation system that does not demand any tablets or touchscreens placed near conference room doors. Instead, it works based on an AR solution that allows users to scan AR markers with their own phones and within seconds see the status of the room. Bookado users can sort company rooms by availability. It was developed in the BYOD (bring your own device) model and I believe this is the future of reducing e-waste because fewer devices mean less pollution.”

Recycle at Stores

A final possible solution is to return your old electronics to the stores where you buy upgrades for those devices. Stacy Caprio of Deals Scoop explains: “One way to contribute to fixing the U.S.’s growing e-waste problem is to participate in the return or recycling programs many brands and stores offer when you buy a new upgrade. These programs give you the opportunity to turn in your older models for free recycling or even in exchange for a discount on the newer model.

“Recycling your old electronics by giving them back to the store or brand you bought them from can help with the e-waste problem because the store is often able to reuse some of the parts instead of the entire product going into a landfill.”

Newtech Recycling Can Help with Your E-Waste Recycling

Alongside these other solutions to the United States e-waste problem, Newtech Recycling continues to offer its own fix to the issue: responsible e-waste recycling. We work throughout the Tri-State area to take in your old, obsolete electronics and dispose of them properly. We destroy your data to ensure your privacy and then reuse as many parts of your electronics as we can, even salvaging components that we can return to the raw materials market. We are here to help make this a better world for everybody.


Contact Newtech Recycling today to get a quote on your electronic recycling project.