The Ethical Issues Surrounding E-Waste Disposal

The world produces roughly 50 million tons of e-waste a year, and the number continues to grow. This waste generally falls into the toxic category, making its disposal more difficult than just tossing it into a landfill. However, a landfill somewhere is still where it often ends up. This creates significant ethical issues surrounding the disposal of e-waste.  How E-Waste Disposal Creates Ethical Issues  While shipping e-waste to poorer countries technically goes against the Basel Convention, which was signed by a number of countries, including the United States, the practice remains common. Countries will ship old or malfunctioning technology to poorer countries, often in West Africa or Southeast Asia.  Once the technology arrives there, it follows a few different paths, […]

Secure-E Waste Destruction: Why It’s Important

E-waste takes many forms. From the most commonly thought about, cell phones and computers, to the more niche, like smart printers. All of the e-waste we generated played a part in our increasingly digital lives, whether it be connecting us to our friends, or printing out a crucial business presentation. Just as it was important to us during its useful life, it’s important to be mindful during its disposal. Secure e-waste destruction is important, both for the health of the environment, and for the security of your personal data.  Why Secure E-Waste Destruction is Important If your technology contains any sort of memory device, you need to make sure it’s destroyed properly. While this may sound like hyperbole, the dangers […]

The Significant Environmental Impact of E-Waste

Whether it be at home, the office, or out and about, electronics are everywhere. They’re vital for communication, work, and keeping life going. There’s little doubt that a modern world without electronics wouldn’t be modern at all. However, that’s come at a cost. Nearly all of the old technology we’ve discarded as e-waste is having a significant environmental impact, and we need to address it.  As technology expanded into every aspect of life, so too did the volume of the e-waste generated. In 2021, it was estimated that e-waste alone weighed 57 million tons worldwide. The environmental impact of this tremendous volume of e-waste is still being evaluated, but the early signs are worrying.  E-Waste’s Environmental Impact on Water and […]

What is Electronic Pollution and How Do We Reduce It?

Electronic pollution is a newer concept, referring to the improper disposal of e-waste. Electronics are made with toxic chemicals and heavy metals, and when they’re not properly handled, they pose serious health risks and cause contamination of the soil, air, and groundwater. E-waste is a broad term that refers to electronic devices and electrical appliances that have reached the end of their useful life. Common types of e-waste are cell phones, computers, televisions, refrigerators, and printers. As the world creates more and more technology, we continue to produce more and more e-waste, reinforcing a vicious cycle that’s toxic for our environment and health. The Effects of Electronic Pollution It is estimated that only 17.4% of all e-waste is formally collected. […]

Rare Earth Recycling: The Present and Future

Rare earth minerals are some of the most widely used materials in technologies today. They are crucial for nearly every piece of technology, from computers, to cell phones, to cars. Their importance only continues to grow as well, with demand rising as technology expands into every facet of modern life. Sourcing these crucial minerals, however, provides challenges. Rare earth recycling will play a crucial role in the years to come to solve this problem.  Why Rare Earth Recycling Is Important  There are 17 elements that make up rare earth metals. While we’ve known about many of them for decades and centuries now, they only became important to the global economy with the rise of technology. Their importance comes from their […]

What Rare Earth Minerals Are in Microchips?

Rare earth minerals, also known as rare earth elements (REEs), are a group of 17 elements that form under the Earth’s surface. Their unique chemical and physical makeup allows them to provide magnetic, heat-resistant, and phosphorescent properties that other elements cannot. Because of this, rare earth minerals are essential in the development of the microchips that make up technology and defense systems. Microchips and Technology Applications of Rare Earth Minerals The majority of REEs are used as catalysts or by the glass industry to create screens and camera lenses, but they have many other uses. Magnets, for example, are a growing use of REEs with a number of applications like wind turbines and spindle motors for hard drives. Gallium is […]

The Risks of Selling Electronics

If you have an old laptop, computer, or other piece of technology sitting around, it might be tempting to sell it and get some extra cash. While this can be a good solution, and a profitable one, you need to be aware of the risks that come with selling old electronics.  This is particularly important when it comes to laptops, cell phones, and computers. However, anything that contains your personal or payment information could be a risk if it’s sold to the wrong person.  How to Reduce the Risks of Selling Electronics  If that extra money in your pocket is too tempting to pass up, there are ways to make it safer. Selling the technology to a trusted friend or […]

How to Recycle a Flat Screen TV

How to Recycle a Flat Screen TV With March Madness in full swing and football season just around the corner, you may be considering an upgrade for your TV. Whatever the reason, shopping for a new TV is easy and fun. However, do you know how to recycle your old flat screen tv? If your TV is still working, you can donate or sell it. Schools, public libraries, and local donation centers can give your TV a second life without contributing to the world’s growing e-waste problem. Selling your TV is also an option. Whether you include it in a yard sale or post it for sale online, it is likely that you could make a little money and extend […]

The E-Waste Recycling Process

Every year billions of new technology products are built and shipped out across the world. From laptops, to cell phones, to televisions, and more, it’s likely that you’ve purchased one yourself in the past year. Recycling the device it’s replacing is crucial, both for sustainability and environmental health. But what is the E-Waste Recycling Process?  The answer depends on the type of device, but, broadly speaking, the general process involves shredding the device and sorting its contents into component groups.  The E-Waste Recycling Process by Device Type  Cell Phones, Hard Drives, Computers, and Laptops  While this category is broad, the recycling process for these technologies tend to be the same. An e-recycler will pick up the devices from a drop […]

Data Destruction Certificate: What is it, and Why is it Important?

A data destruction certificate, also referred to as a Certificate of Destruction, is a crucial part of the technology destruction or recycling process. The certificate guarantees that all of the data on a piece of technology was properly destroyed.  With data breaches and cyber crimes on the rise, this guarantee is more important than ever.  What is a Data Destruction Certificate The actual data destruction certificate differs based on the company doing the work. However, most follow the template set below. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides a framework for best practices in media and data destruction.  The certificate typically contains the person and provider performing the service, information about the type of media being destroyed, a […]