e-Waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the U.S. If electronic devices are not properly recycled, the toxic chemicals contained inside these devices can cause serious environmental and health concerns. While there have been numerous attempts to develop Federal laws on the disposal of e-Waste, there are currently no Federal mandates in place. In many jurisdictions, the disposal of toxic e-Waste in landfills is still legal, causing severe environmental damage to the surrounding communities. As a result, various states have begun developing laws surrounding the secure disposal of e-Waste.
According to the EPA, electronics such as CRT monitors, cell phones and mobile devices test “hazardous” and require special handling for disposal. Improper disposal can cause toxic chemicals such as lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic, located inside these devices to seep into the soil and contaminate the groundwater. In fact, one mobile phone has enough toxins to contaminate 40,000 gallons of water.
25 states have passed legislation mandating statewide e-Waste recycling while several more are passing new laws or improving legislation. Most recently, Colorado’s Governor signed a bill banning the dumping of electronic equipment in landfills and requiring the state to utilize certified recyclers. Six other states introduced e-Waste legislation in 2011. Currently, statewide e-Waste recycling laws cover 65 percent of the U.S. population.
New York State instituted the Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act last year and while there is room for improvement, the program appears to be working. Fairly aggressive targets were set for the program and though the amount of e-Waste collected has not been totaled, the number of collection options grew 77 percent in the last year. Recyclers and local governments report that the increased ease and convenience in recycling caused an increase in the quantity of e-Waste collected in 2011.
e-Stewards, a leading global program, allows businesses that dispose of their old electronic equipment to easily identify recycling companies that adhere to the highest standards of environmental responsibility and employee protection. An e-Stewards Certification requires a recycler to meet rigorous environmental, health and safety requirements while prohibiting the improper disposal of toxic waste in landfills and shipment overseas. Recently, e-Cycle LLC became the first mobile phone buyback and recycling company in the world to become e-Stewards Certified.
e-Cycle provides businesses a safe and environmentally friendly method for the disposal of used mobile phones and devices. Assisting organizations in taking a more responsible, secure and profitable approach to wireless recycling, e-Cycle purchases used cell phones and tablets that still retain value and recycles all others at no charge through an EPA-registered facility. A rigorous multi-step data deletion process permanently removes confidential data stored on these devices. Not only does e-Cycle maintain a strict zero landfill policy, their e-Stewards Certification also ensures dedication to upholding the highest global standards for environmental responsibility.
Many states either lack adequate regulations for this relatively new waste stream, or lack effective enforcement of new e-waste regulations. However, with electronic waste representing 70 percent of toxins in our landfills, policies need to be put in place to battle this growing issue. As more states begin to implement e-Waste legislation, e-Cycle provides enterprises with a secure and profitable solution for mobile phone recycling and reuse. Find out more at www.e-Cycle.com.