The majority of e-waste thrown away in developed countries is not recycled. The figure for properly recycled electronics was around 20% in 2016, falling to 17.4% in 2021. That means up to 83% of obsolete electronics are thrown away, nearly 47 million metric tons each year and growing. The latest Global e-Waste Statistics are not encouraging.
The United States is the world’s largest producer of electronic waste, and at times up to 40% of the e-Waste we generate is exported overseas for disposal.
The problem with exporting e-waste to other countries is that many of the countries (usually in Western Africa and Asia) who accept e-waste only do so because they have weak safety regulations.
They can resell some of the electronics if they can be fixed, and they often employ the local population to extract valuable materials from the e-waste.
While this might sound good on the surface, the reality is that the method by which these products are ultimately disposed of causes more harm than good.
What usually happens with e-waste is that, for the products that cannot be refurbished and/or resold, they must be disposed of. For many of these countries, that means dissolving the products in acid or burning them outdoors.
This causes innumerable problems. Toxins leak into the soil and contaminate the air and water, which can harm the plants and animals on which these populations depend.
The fumes given off when these products are burned or dissolved can cause severe health issues, directly damaging the brain, lungs, and kidneys, as well as increasing the risk for cancer.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
At Protec Recycling in Alabama, we keep outdated and aging electronics from being sent overseas or into local landfills. We repurpose older electronics and recycle peripherals, cables, and accessories too.
Protec is a NAID AAA Certified partner. National Association for Information Destruction members securely destroy any data stored on your outdated devices, assuring compliance with privacy laws such as HIPAA, GLBA, and FACTA.
NAID is the standard-setting body advocating for best practices in secure data destruction. Today, more than 1,000 NAID AAA Certified providers operate on 5 continents. Protec Recycling in Homewood, Alabama is proud to be one.
From one-time purges to regularly scheduled service, Protec helps you regularly (and properly) dispose of e-waste. To schedule a pickup, call our office at 205-549-2120 or visit our Contact Us page today.