The United States of America produces millions of tons of electronic waste every year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency web site, "EPA estimates that, in 2009, US consumers and businesses discarded televisions, computers, cell phones and hard copy peripherals (including printers, scanners, faxes) totaling 2.37 million tons. Approximately 25 percent of these electronics were collected for recycling, with the remainder disposed of primarily in landfills, where the precious metals cannot be recovered. "
That's a whole lot of electronic waste ending up in landfills. What doesn't end up in landfills sometimes ends up over seas for people in developing countries to deal with. Some of them bust the monitors and other electronic waste open to retrieve precious metals to sell. They don't realize that lead and other toxic materials then leak into the soil and groundwater, causing birth defects and mutations. As more restrictions are put on the disposal of E-waste, a lot of people just hold on to their electronic waste. EPA also states that about 68% of people are storing electronic waste in their homes.
Bluegrass E-Cycle is a local company that responsibly recycles discarded electronics. They are pending R2 certification, which certifies that their processing meets up to healthy standards. They follow the stuff that leaves their warehouse down to the last piece.
You can view their web site for more information or to schedule a pick-up. They provide pick up and drop off, asset tag removal on all equipment, onsite physical hard drive destruction, as well as degaussing. to Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Ohio, Tennesse, and the entire region. They even offer a program that helps group fundraise with mobile recycling events, during which portable hard drive degaussing and destruction is available.
Hard drive destruction or degaussing is important because information can be extracted from hard drives even if they (or the computers they are in) are not working. Criminals extract all kinds of personal information from hard drives found in landfills or burning grounds in developing countries to use in scams.
Some of the items they accept for recycling are:
Ink and Toner Cartridges
Photo: Bluegrass E-Cycle sponsored an art installation that shows what future archaeologists might find if we don't recycle more of our technology.