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Sep 07

Electronic Waste- 101

Posted on September 7, 2023 at 10:51 AM by Kaitlynn McCumiskey

EW- IntroDue the sensitive data, valuable materials, and the potential for environmentally hazardous materials- how your electronic waste is handled is important. Electronics should never be placed in your household recycling bin or the trash. There are free and convenient drop-off locations located throughout Ontario County or you can bring your unwanted electronic devices to one of our electronic waste recycling events which are always free to Ontario County residents. Visit our website for details.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Americans currently own more than 3 billion electronic products. The average American has 24 devices per household. As the use of these electronic products has grown, the average lifespan of these products becomes shorter. This in turn has resulted in increased volume of discarded and obsolete electronic devices. The resulting waste, commonly known as “e-waste,” is the fastest-growing component of the municipal waste stream in the United States.”

Twenty-five U.S. states (plus the District of Columbia) currently have electronics recycling laws. New York State (NYS) consumers are required to recycle many electronic waste items, such as computers, computer peripherals, televisions, small scale servers, and small electronic equipment, etc., in an environmentally responsible manner. The NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act requires manufacturers to provide free and convenient recycling of electronic waste to most consumers in the state.

Also according to the EPA, “Electronic products are made from valuable resources and materials, including metals, plastics, and glass, all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Donating or recycling consumer electronics conserves our natural resources and avoids air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by manufacturing virgin materials.”

This month we are going to focus on electronic waste and best practices, we will cover: secure data destruction, third-party environmental certifications, and what happens to your e-waste after it is collected.