Published on May 23rd, 2013 | by Guest Contributor


Choosing a Quality Electronics Recycling Company

The ever-increasing demand for computers and personal electronic devices has led to a huge amount of e-waste– you all know this. And you probably know that our economy based on planned obsolescence leads to innovation and super fun, new electronic devices– but that means that their older, less cool counterparts are destined for our waste stream. And of course everyone knows that those electronics should NOT be simply tossed away with our regular rubbish and should instead be recycled. But it’s also important to know HOW those electronics are being recycled!

The Need

Unfortunately, all our cool gadgets contain toxic components that can cause serious environmental problems. The need to control toxic waste associated with electronics is one of the reasons why so many computer recycling companies exist today. However, not all of these recycling companies are trustworthy. Many illegitimate companies have sprung into business where they recognize a need– and a potential for profit.

People and Planet: Why it’s Important to find a legitimate electronics recycling company

Aside from making sure that all the computer parts are recycled in an environmentally friendly way, proper information elimination is super important to make sure that existing files cannot be recovered by anyone. If the computers are handled by illegitimate companies, they can extract sensitive information like social security numbers (SSN) and bank account details. Afterwards, they can be sold to individuals on the market for personal information. And as many of us don’t delete or encrypt our important files, this step is imperative to ensure our safety. Many companies, like Elgin Recycling in Chicago, have state-of-the-art recycling equipment that is specifically designed to dismantle computers and separate the parts that are still fit to use. They can recycle monitors, computers, keyboards, mice and cords within their facility using a High Energy Pulse Degausser, which meets government mandated compliance standards for complete elimination of sensitive information stored on magnetic media.

Additionally, it’s important to find a reputable recycling facility to ensure that the electronics are actually recycled locally, rather than being sent to prison labor systems or off to impoverished nations for dismantling. According to Triple Pundit, many electronics are ‘recycled‘ by “being exported to developing countries. Workers, often paid low wages, process the materials in primitive conditions, putting the workers and the environment at risk.” Consumers need to make informed decisions about where their electronics are going to be recycled. We encourage consumers to research the E-Stewards Initiative, which is is a third party certification program that ensures proper and ethical e-waste disposal by companies. Their certification means that e-waste is not discarded into landfills or incinerators, exported to developing countries or sent to prison labor operations.


Not only is it important to recycle our electronics, it’s equally important to know HOW those products are being recycled. Consumers can choose to work with legitimate companies that ensure the safety of their personal information, ensure quality recycling that doesn’t damage the environment, and make sure their discarded electronics are recycled in a safe and humane way. But… you might want to consider that your e-waste might earn you cash or be upcycled into something crafty and awesome!

Green Living Ideas wishes to thank Elgin Recyling in Chicago for supporting this post.


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