If you’re in the business of recycling old computers, you’ve probably heard of companies like PC Recycle or PCs for People. You might also have heard about the Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act, or EDRDA. In either case, you should know that it has many ramifications for the PC waste industry. Here are some of the reasons you should be in the PC waste business, and how it can help your community.
Recycling old computers is a noble cause. However, it is also important to remember that all PCs eventually need to be recycled. The Environmental Protection Agency has compiled a list of tips for selecting a responsible PC recycler. A good PC recycler will be able to guarantee complete data destruction and provide their partners with a report a few days after collection. In addition, donating a used PC to charity will also help extend its life.
Before the computer is recycled, it must be cleaned and wiped of any personal information. Data can be removed from a computer through reformatting or physical destruction. The left-over components of the computer should then be recycled. Companies that offer PC recycling services decide whether or not to donate them. However, before they donate these computers to non-profit organizations, they must first erase all personal information from the hard drive. If the computer has been properly reformatted, it may be donated to a local charity.
PCs for People
PCs for People is a nonprofit computer distribution program focusing on providing affordable computers and internet to low-income individuals. The nonprofit distributes refurbished computers, which are complete with anti-virus software and a mouse and keyboard. All computers include monitors and power cords, as well as free technical support through a national customer service center. The organization has provided over 190,000 computers to individuals and nonprofit organizations since 1998. Read on to learn more about the program and how you can get a computer.
As a nonprofit, PCs for People works with at-risk youth. The youth are given hands-on computer training and the opportunity to develop valuable workplace skills. The youth refurbish donated computers and install new operating systems before giving them away to low-income families. PCs for People is one of the few programs that works with at-risk youth and offers a variety of services. Its website says that the program has served 40,000 people in the Twin Cities and is growing to cover many more.
Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act
The bipartisan legislation to increase the rate of e-waste recycling was introduced in December 2009, and is supported by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. This bill would authorize the Environmental Protection Agency to award grants for research and demonstration projects to increase electronic device recycling. However, the bill failed to garner a vote in Congress, so its provisions could still be used to encourage e-waste recycling. In addition to the federal government, state governments have also gotten involved. As of this writing, twenty-five states have laws mandating the collection of electronic devices, with several more expected to introduce them this year. Furthermore, multiple state grants are available for e-waste recycling programs, which may be used by municipalities or nonprofit organizations.
The Act also requires manufacturers to establish a stewardship program for the electronic devices they manufacture. This program aims to divert 80% of such waste from landfills or incineration. The law requires manufacturers to provide certification information and transfer materials to facilities that meet these standards. Local governments are also required to make sure the materials they receive are sent to recycling or reuse facilities that meet certain requirements. By 2032, a municipality should set a goal of diverting 80% of covered electronic equipment from landfills and incineration.
The growing surplus of electronic waste in our country and around the world is a global problem. With rapidly changing technology, falling prices, and planned obsolescence, the number of used computers is soaring. But there is help – a technological solution exists. Here are some ways that you can help make electronic waste a thing of the past. First, consider the e-waste itself. Desktop computers use about 530 pounds of fossil fuels, 48 pounds of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture. Compared to these resources, smartphones aren’t quite as resource-intensive, but they do require precious metals for their construction. In fact, some estimates put the amount of precious metals in the waste of electronics as much as all the mines on Earth.
As we age, our computers become less usable and we need to replace them more often. The good news is that e-waste can be recycled. It’s possible to recycle old PCs for free. However, you should be aware of the toxicity of some of these electronic components. The mercury-based batteries, for instance, should be disposed of properly. You can find recycling services in your area. This will save you time and money.