Re-using Phone, Computer, and Other Types of Office Equipment
In much the same way that technology seems to drive more ruthlessly onward in the name of progress and advancement of science, industry, medicine, or whatever else, the amount of technology and computer or telephone network parts that end up as e-waste every year also seems to be growing, potentially out of control. So what can be done about it?
The pace of communication and development increases every year, and many small businesses feel the burn when they don’t keep up with the most current types of office equipment, from telephone networks to computer parts and beyond. If you simply cannot control your thirst for the newest gadgets, then at the very least, you can learn about what makes the most sense for the planet when it comes to properly disposing that seemingly out-moded technological equipment.
Just How Much Technological Waste Is in the Waste Stream?
According to the EPA, in 2009 alone, the total amount of discarded technological equipment in the United States totaled approximately 2.37 million short tons. In terms of the types of waste included in that number, a person could find anything from televisions on the one hand, to used computers, printers, faxes, scanners, old mice, cell phones, keyboards and telephone equipment. When you think of all the development, and business being started or closing their doors every single day in America, it’s mind blowing just how
much we discard for the sake of progress.
If you’re just starting a new business, or in the process of upgrading your technology, then consider purchasing used technology. Whether you’re looking to buy refurbished phones in Phoenix, or used computer parts from Cisco, just by performing a simple online search, you can save your company potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, while
doing something beneficial for the environment.
If your company is going out of business, expanding and upgrading, or simply purchasing a new piece of technology and getting rid of something that stands as obsolete for your business, then you can consider donating used electronics, thereby extending the lifecycle of products that may be quite valuable to others. Plenty of resellers of used office equipment exist in just about every city in America, and most do business online, so finding a retailer near you is just a matter of 5 minutes worth of effort.
If you are looking to purchase new equipment, consider speaking with your sales rep before getting rid of what you currently have, as a great many technology retailers have their own buy-back recycling programs. They take older equipment, refurbish it and make it like new again, and then offer it to other companies looking for a discount, or replacement parts or units for slightly older, but potentially reliable and solid models.
And according to the EPA, “about half of the states currently have laws on disposal and recycling of electronics, and several other states are considering passing similar laws.” If you opt to have your used technological equipment properly disposed of, then make sure that the electronics recycler you opt for is certified by the EPA as following strict environmental regulations and best practices.
Tons of information is available through the Environmental Protection Agency, for example on their e-Waste Facts and Recycling Information FAQ page, where you will learn such things as:
- When 1,000,000 laptops are recycled, this alone can save as much energy as the electricity used to power over 3,600 American homes in a year.
- 1 metric ton of circuit boards alone can contain 40 to 800 times the amount of gold and 30 to 40 times the amount of copper mined from one metric ton of ore in the United States
[Photo Via: businessinsider.com]