South Carolina officially banned electronic waste from its landfills in 2011, and the United States government is funding research into better recycling techniques for electronics as we speak. You may be looking at your desktop or laptop and wondering to yourself what has lawmakers going to all this trouble. The adage of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is a noble goal, but why would our state government go so far as to completely ban them from regular trash? The truth is that electronic waste, or “ewaste”, is a dangerous situation when it ends up in landfills.
The inside of a computer is complex; it has a thousand tiny parts that all fit perfectly together. To create those tiny parts, we need to use minerals and materials like bromine, chromium, cadmium, lead, mercury, and others. You may be looking at that list and noticing one very important, troubling fact; all of those materials are considered highly toxic and in some cases deadly.
While we have our electronics in use in our homes, those materials are kept well away from interaction with us by the hard shells of plastic around the outside. When a laptop or desktop (or even television or game console) makes its way into a landfill, it is often crushed up by tractors or simply by the weight of other garbage. Those toxic materials then leak out into the soil. Over time, this could mean mercury, lead, or any of the other toxins finding their way into your groundwater.
According to the EPA, more than 47 million computers are disposed of in the U.S. each year. This builds up into an enormous amount of electronic waste, much of which is still finding its way into landfills. Most of this waste can and should be reused or recycled. That’s why companies like ours are finding ways to help.
Don’t throw your old electronics away. Electronic Asset Recycling can help you keep that e-waste out of landfills and out of the soil and water in the Southeast. We occasionally host residential dropoffs at locations like the Greenville SportsClub near Haywood Mall, but accept residential e-waste and commercial e-waste all year long! Give us a call at 800-746-1823 or contact us online for more information on our easy pickup/dropoff process. Keep your electronic waste out of landfills and those toxic materials out of the soil!

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