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Up to Our Chins in E-Waste: What You Can Do!

Published on February 12, 2013 by Karen Newmeyer

Information TechnologyContributed by Jerry Ellis, IT Program Chair, Broadview University – Orem Campus

You don’t have to have a degree in IT to know that we are all producing electronic waste every time we update our technology.  What do you do with your old electronics like your desktop, laptop, netbook, tablet, iPad, cell phone, television, keyboard, monitor, and computer mouse?

As today’s society becomes more mobile in their communication technologies, the discarded electronics most often end up in a landfill.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency. in 2009 an estimated 438 million new electronic products were sold; 5 million short tons (2,000 lbs.) of electronic products were in storage;  2.37 million short tons of electronic products were ready for end-of-life management; and only 25% of these tons were collected for recycling.

Today’s technology, while convenient, has many hidden perils when disposed of directly into our landfills.

Many of today’s electronics may contain mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel, heavy metals as well as gold or other precious metals used during their manufacturing process.  These can then leach into the ground water that we rely upon for our very subsistence.

Proper recycling of the electronics can recover the heavy and precious metals.  This in turn can augment the needs and resources required to mine these items throughout the world.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency FAQ,

What can I do?
Donate/Recycle

E-waste Recycling within the State of Utah

On March 22, 2011 Utah became the 25th state to establish an electronics recycling program when Senate Bill 184 (SB 184) was signed into law by Governor Herbert.  This bill covers computers, laptop, desktop and tablet computers, printers, televisions and television peripherals.

How to Buy Greener ElectronicsInformation Technology

Going Green – That’s a nice buzz-word that gets thrown around a lot but what does it actually mean and how can I be more GREEN Aware in my Consumer Purchases?

For information about E-Waste Recycling within the State of Utah go to http://www.deq.utah.gov/

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