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