In the U.S., global consumer electronics makers continue to ramp up efforts to recycle more e-waste. As an example, Samsung Electronics America Inc. has recycled 12 million pounds of e-waste in 2009. Still, more effort is needed.
Incorporating responsible recycling practices into your business is one more step in building business sustainability. A sustainable business strategy is to begin with the end in mind. Consider sustainable purchasing which addresses environmental and social factors, as well as the total costs associated with each purchase. It means looking at what products are made of, where they come from, how they were made and how they will be disposed.
Within our professional consulting, we recommend the following ideas to responsibly dispose of your e-waste:
- A first step mentioned in our eco friendly training for properly managing electronic products is to look in your Yellow Pages under Computer Dealers–Used and Recycled; Environmental and Ecological Services; Recycling Equipment and Services; Scrap Metals; Waste Disposal–Hazardous; or Waste Disposal, Reduction and Recycling.
- Recycling for Charities allows individuals an opportunity to recycle cellular phones, PDA’s, Palm Pilots, digital cameras, and iPods for value that is then donated to the charity of their choice. What sets Recycling for Charities apart is the fact that they are the only 501(c) (3) Non Profit Organization recycling cell phones. This sustainable business strategy not only helps protect the environment.
- Best Buy offers their Greener Together Program.
- Search Earth 911‘s database for electronics recycling.
- Buying or selling used electronic pieces? Check out Electronics Recycling.
- LampRecycling provides businesses with an easier system for recycling their fluorescent bulbs, CFLs, batteries, ballasts, and electronic waste, and tracking their recycling efforts.
- To recycle CDs, DVDs, video and audio tapes, look to GreenDisk.
- BatteriesPlus offers recycling for batteries of all types: both commercial and residential use.
- The Directory of the North American Scrap Electronics Recycling Industry is available for a fee from Resource Recycling. The Directory contains extensive details about firms and organizations that acquire and process obsolete computers, peripherals TVs and other electronics.
- The Electronics Industry Alliance maintains a national list searchable by state.
- The International Association of Electronic Recyclers Directory of the Electronics Recycling Industry allows you to search for organizations that are involved in electronics recycling. Most of the database focuses on companies that provide recycling services for electronic products.
- National Recycling Coalition (NRC) hosts the National Database of Electronics Recyclers, Reuse Organizations, and Municipal Programs.
Your business makes decisions every day about what to buy and where to buy it. Cost and quality are important factors, but there are other things to consider when making purchasing decisions that will benefit your business and make a positive impact on society and the environment. The good news is that most electronic components can now be reused, recycled, and diverted from the waste stream.