According to the United Nations, around 20 to 50 million tons of e-waste is generated worldwide each year and only a small fraction of that e-waste is properly recycled. Businesses must partner with a credible electronics recycler to ensure that their mobile and other electronics devices and the sensitive data stored inside are recycled properly. Partnering with the wrong electronics recycler can be extremely hazardous for the environment and business.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 70 to 80 percent of recyclers in the U.S. either directly or indirectly export their e-waste into developing countries. The Basel Action Network (BAN) reports that more than 500 containers, each containing 10 to 15 tons of e-waste, enter Nigerian ports every month, amounting to 60,000 to 90,000 tons of e-waste each year. Exporting e-waste is devastating to both the health of the environment and the people in these countries.
Slave or child labor and unethical methods such as open-acid baths and open-air burning are often used to extract the valuable metals inside the devices and to dispose of e-waste. Mobile phones, tablets and computers contain toxic metals and chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, beryllium and brominated flame retardants. These extraction methods cause substantial harm to the environment and the inhalation of the toxic fumes can cause significant health problems or even death for the locals in these e-waste farming communities.
According to a report released by the United Nations, criminal gangs behind the drug trade in West Africa are becoming involved with illegal e-waste trading. Many of the discarded electronics and mobile devices that end up in these dumping grounds have not been properly wiped of data. This leaves private information such as addresses, phone numbers and banking details to be easily harvested by criminals.
It is imperative that businesses and individuals properly recycle their retired devices with a responsible electronics recycler. BAN, together with industry leaders, developed the e-Stewards certification program in an effort to eliminate the growing e-waste problem.
e-Stewards provides consumers, businesses and government agencies that dispose of their old electronic equipment an easy way to identify recycling companies that adhere to the highest standards of environmental responsibility, data security and worker protection. 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. It also requires yearly audits to ensure that the high e-Stewards standards are continuously being met. Using e-Stewards certified recyclers will not only guarantee organizations protect the environment when recycling their electronics but also their sensitive company information.
e-Cycle is the trusted wireless mobile buyback and recycling partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.