It’s a recycling party! Nov. 15 is America Recycles Day–the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products. The day is organized by the National Recycling Coalition (NRC), the largest national nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement and improvement of recycling, waste prevention, composting, and reuse. There are a number of ways you can celebrate: Check out the NRC website for local events or to take the recycling pledge.
I plan on doing my share by tackling the small but growing pile of electronics that has had me a little paralyzed. A bit of shame added to just not being quite sure what to do with the stuff has left me evasive–but I realize the huge importance of taking care of this issue in the right way. Here is what the EPA has to say about electronics recycling:
Because consumer electronics like personal computers, TVs, cell phones, and stereo equipment contain lead and a variety of other hazardous materials, eCycling, the recycling of electronic equipment, helps protect the environment. And because electronics are becoming obsolete at an ever faster rate, their volume is growing two to three times faster than any other type of waste. It is projected that 500 million personal computers have been taken out of service from 2000 and 2007.
Computers and electronic equipment that still work, but are obsolete, may be suitable for reuse. Equipment that does not work and is not repairable, or is so obsolete that it can’t be reused, can be disassembled for the scrap value of various components.� Printed circuit boards and wiring may contain recoverable quantities of precious metals and base metals; frames and cases may contain recyclable steel or plastic; monitors and TV’s contain tubes that are made of leaded glass and can be recycled or smelted for recovery of lead.
When you outgrow your computers or cell phones, they may be suitable for reuse. Please consider donating them to non-profit organizations, schools and training institutions. If they can’t be refurished or repaired, you can recycle them.
Check out the EPA page on eCycling to find out where to donate or recycle your old computer or other electronic products–and Happy America Recycles Day!
By Melissa Breyer, Senior Editor, Healthy and Green Living