Recommendations for Safe e-Waste Recycling of Used Wireless Mobile Devices

Utilize e-Stewards Certified e-Recyclers to responsibly recycle used electronics and wireless devices 

Continual technological advancements are bringing a myriad of new electronic devices to the consumer and enterprise markets. However, what happens to the used, outdated gadgets, tablets and smartphones? The Basel Action Network provides guidelines to ensure the safe and secure recycling of used electronics.

1. Never toss used technology in the trash
Used electronics contain hazardous substances such as lead, mercury, arsenic as well as other toxic chemicals that have been proven to cause cancer, reproductive disorders, endocrine disruption and other major health issues. When e-Waste ends up in landfill, these chemicals can leach into ground contaminating the soil and water. In fact, the chemicals contained inside of a single cell phone can pollute approximately 40,000 gallons of water.

2.  Do not store your used electronics in desk drawers and closets
Even though the best use for old technology is reuse, repair and refurbishment, most used electronics will end up collecting dust in storage closets, desk drawers or garages. Mobile phones and electronic devices can maintain value up to 18 to 36 months of use and often e-Recyclers provide payment for your unused wireless technologies. However, the value of these devices diminishes rapidly so be sure to responsible recycle your used electronics and mobile devices as soon as they are replaced.

3.  Recycle used mobile electronic technologies with e-Stewards® Certified recyclers or refurbishers
Many uncertified recyclers will not recycle used electronics and mobile devices but instead ship them to scrap brokers overseas. The EPA estimates that 70 to 80 percent of electronics recycling companies in this country either directly or indirectly export e-Waste into toxic dumping grounds overseas. Once there, primitive and highly hazardous methods are used to break down the electronics to extract the valuable materials contained inside. According to Executive Director of BAN, Jim Puckett, “Most recyclers claim they are ‘green’ yet they will simply ship off your old electronics to highly polluting operations in developing countries.”

e-Stewards Certified recyclers adhere to the most rigorous social and environmental standards. However, non e-Stewards certified recyclers often exploit cheap, prison labor to process these computers and wireless devices, exposing criminals to private personal and business data. These recyclers may also utilize downstream vendors that dispose of electronic gadgets in our local landfills.

The e-Stewards® Certified Recyclers Ensure the Highest Level of Environmental Protection, Data Security and Worker Safety
Developed by the Basel Action Network (BAN) together with industry leaders, the e-Stewards Recycler Certification program gives consumers, companies and governments an easy way of finding responsible recyclers and refurbishers. The world’s most rigorous standard for electronics recycling, e-Stewards Certification ensures certified recyclers consistently conform to the highest standards for responsible recycling and reuse of electronic equipment, worker safety and data security. This globally recognized program is the only certification that strictly prohibits the export of toxic e-waste into developing countries and bans the use of child and prison labor. To find an e-Stewards certified recycler, visit the e-Stewards website at http://find.e-Stewards.org.

e-Cycle is the First Mobile Phone Recycling and Buyback Company to Achieve e-Stewards Certification
In January 2012, e-Cycle became the first mobile buyback and recycling company in the world to become e-Stewards certified. Helping organizations take a more responsible, secure and cost-effective approach to wireless recycling, e-Cycle collects mobile phones from businesses and major organizations, reimbursing them for wireless devices that retain value and recycling all others at no charge. The information on every phone is either deleted or destroyed through the industry’s most rigorous data security measures. In 2012, e-Cycle was ranked the #68 most promising company in America by Forbes as well as the #4 fastest growing, environmental services company in the U.S. on the Inc. 500 list. For more information, visit www.e-Cycle.com.

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