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Posts Tagged ‘electronics recycling companies’

While technology continues to improve it consequently outdates the average computer faster than ever. In 2007 roughly 40 million computers became obsolete which has doubled since 1998 (cleanair.org).  Major electronic corporations have implemented sustainability practices and taken ownership of their own influence on the massive amounts of computers that are no longer up to par.  However, the green industry and eco-Americans throughout the country have been patiently awaiting our own government to step up and implement responsible e-waste recycling plan for their own electronics that contribute significantly to the e-waste problem.

On July 20, 2011 in Austin, Texas the White House Council on Environmental Quality, General Services Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency representatives met to discuss the future of Federal electronics. They were accompanied by the CEO’s of Sprint and Dell along with executives from Sony to reveal a National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship. 

The strategy addresses responsible electronic waste disposal in three areas,  the design of products, purchasing consumer electronics responsibly, and promoting research to find acceptable ways to recycle and reuse the materials within electronics. A major aspect of the proposal was to ensure that Federal electronics are processed by CERTIFIED recyclers so they can ensure their data is erased properly and the products are handled responsibly throughout the entire de-manufacturing process.  Educating individuals on the hazards of using an non-certified company is very important and having the Federal governments support makes this goal much more attainable.  Promoting certified American recycling companies also enhances U.S employment and stimulates the economy within our borders.

One issue that was not addressed by the task force is the exporting of hazardous materials overseas to third-world countries. While CompuCycle does not support the exporting of non-working materials overseas in any way we do however support international electronic trading of working electronics.

For more information on the National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship please visit any of the following sites:

Environmental Protection Agency:

http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/taskforce/docs/strategy.pdf

The Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allen-hershkowitz/administration-launches-j_b_906075.html

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Volunteers at e-cycling drive

Volunteers from 2011 KTRK ABC13 Houston Earth Day E-cycling Drive unload the last car.

Now that I’ve made it through my first Earth Day (more like month) while employed by CompuCycle, I think I’m ready to tackle tips on how to host a successful e-cycling drive. There’s no exact science and your results will always vary based on several factors. None the less, my first tip is what seems like the most obvious, but is often the tip least followed.

 

Contract with a Certified Electronics Recycler

Before you decide you want to provide a service to your employees, tenants, community or whoever you want to help recycle their electronics, make sure you have a safe and eco-friendly outlet to do so.  Many “recycling” companies will offer free recycling, but make sure you do your homework on the company before you hand over your hard drives and e-waste.

As I mentioned in the last blog, unless you are using a Certified Electronics Recycler (R2 or E-steward Certified) there is no guarantee that your electronics are being disposed of properly and sensitive information is safe. 

 

Find a venue that is suitable

If you plan on doing a one-day e-cycling drive, choose an outdoor area where recyclers can easily pull-up and unload. Typically recyclers are asked to not get out of the car and workers or volunteers will unload the vehicle for them, allowing for fast and easy drop off.  Shade is always also a plus for workers and volunteers to escape the sun.

If you plan on doing a multiple day e-cycling drive, choose a centrally located area that is big enough for at least 1 gaylord box for collection of electronics.  CompuCycle would drop off the box(s) prior to the event and would pick them up at the host’s instruction.

 

Know the extent of your resources

Determine beforehand how much labor the recycling company will provide and how many volunteers you will have. The more organized your event is, the more successful your event will be. You want your recyclers to want to bring their electronics next year and spread the word to friends and family.  Word of mouth should be one of your top referrals. 

 

Anchor your event with other events or times when recycling interest at its highest

Obviously in April, around Earth Day, is when recycling is at the top of everyone’s agenda. The Earth Day buzz is  a great way to help create awareness of your e-cycling drive.  Other times to anchor your event to are: America Recycles Day (Nov. 20th), right after New Years (Give us all the electronics you just replaced at Christmas!), Spring Cleaning (Clean the old electronics out of your closet!)

 

Set a time that is convenient for your audience

It’s always important to keep in mind your audience.  If it’s your employees or tenants, a weekday recycling drive would probably be the most successful option. Really, who wants to drop by work on a Saturday? If it’s members of your community, a Saturday collection is most convenient for those that have 9-5 jobs. 

 

Consider extending your drive

Instead of a one-day drive, consider offering a week-long collection event in a central area, if you have one available. This is will allow recyclers a chance to bring more electronics and will allow more to participate. 

 

Be clear as to what items are accepted and how many items can be brought

The last thing you want to encounter on your drive day is frustrated recyclers.  Who wouldn’t be frustrated after you loaded up your 60″ Monster Big Screen TV only to find out the drive you are dropping off at does not accept TVs over 36″. 

Make sure to mention in all media if there is a limit on the number of items and the items that are not acceptable, such as appliances (microwaves, refrigerators and so on).  

 

Advertise

The most important step is to of course make sure your audience knows the event is happening! How do you let them know, you say? There are many avenues to reach your audience in this day and time. Some effective outlets are: Flyers, Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.), Newsletters (digital and print), Emails (Your own, that’s right, send some emails!), Newspapers, Blogs and Word of Mouth (Tell some people!).   

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