In today’s world, we increasingly rely on electronics to stay connected to friends, family, and our workplaces. The newest iPhone tops everyone’s wishlist, new game consoles are being released right in time for the holidays, and that all leads up to more and more old electronics going unused, being tossed into closets, or going out with the trash. Our dependence on electronics (and the speed with which new versions are released and old ones discarded) leads to serious national and global issues. As electronic waste graveyards build up in developing nations or pile up in our own landfills, it can be hard to see anything positive coming out of this ever-growing concern. However, we strive to not just talk about the downsides here, but also the good news in ewaste recycling, as well.
One of the upsides to our consumption of electronics is that ewaste may be a leading creator of jobs in the future.
So, How Does Electronic Waste Create Jobs?
Collection, process, and preparation. This is our focus, and the ewaste recycling industry is growing rapidly as the problem becomes more widely understood. The more people know about why it’s so important to recycle their electronics rather than throwing them out, the more demand there will be. Companies like ours are increasingly needed to provide pickup (or a convenient drop-off location), sorting, and processing services in order to help the useful parts make it to the next step in the process. Even hard drives can be wiped clean (or shredded) if need be to ensure the utmost security in the recycling process.
The creation of new electronics through recycling. Once the sorting and processing is through, the reusable and recyclable parts make their way to other companies and facilities that are designed to take the parts and pieces and create entirely new products out of them. Even big-name electronics companies have opened whole new departments that specialize in figuring out what parts of their products can be most easily recycled and reused within their own facilities.
Resell and reuse. Many discarded or outdated electronics will find their way to wholesalers, who can either sell the individual parts to other companies or individuals to build with or outright put together new electronics themselves. This business is thriving through word-of-mouth, and offers customers the ability to purchase products like desktop and laptop computers with the same functionality as pricey new ones, but at very discounted prices.
But Disposal Creates Jobs, Too, Right?
It’s true — the demand for disposal of electronic waste, even when that disposal involves illegally dumping electronics in landfills, does create some jobs. After all, someone has to sift through the trash to find electronics, and in many countries thousands of people make their living digging through “technology graveyards” searching for the valuable minerals inside cell phones and computers that have been thrown out or discarded by others. In many cases, however, those workers are put at great physical risk and end up sick or disabled due to the toxic chemicals and unsafe working conditions. Recycling, on the other hand, can be done with safety measures in place to protect employees and ensure that the toxic minerals inside electronics will never find their way into groundwater, soil, or your skin.
The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that an increased focus on recycling electronics as opposed to disposal could lead to over 1 million new jobs by the year 2030. Electronic Asset Recycling is proud to be at the forefront of the movement to create a greener earth through the safe, legal recycling of electronic waste. Whether you’re a business looking to offload pallets of old computers that currently just take up space, a family looking for a safe place to get rid of old game consoles, laptop computers, or other electronics, or even a wholesaler looking for parts you could reuse or resell, we’re the business to partner with! You can reach us by phone at (800) 746-1823 or contact us online to request a pickup today!