If your business has an office or brick-and-mortar location, chances are there’s at least one corner of a back room somewhere that’s filled with junk. You know, that pile of discarded, previously useful items that have passed their prime and no longer serve you. When that pile gets too big, or you embark on a retrofit of old infrastructure like lighting, it’s time to do a junk cleanout.
But cleaning out your company’s old junk isn’t as simple as throwing it all in a dumpster headed to the landfill. Because somewhere in that big pile there’s likely to be hazardous materials, which can pose a safety and public health hazard if they’re thrown in a landfill.
And one of the fastest-growing types of waste in our waste stream today is electronic waste, or e-waste. With the e-waste market exceeding 55.8 million metric tons in 2021, it’s no surprise that e-waste is becoming a growing concern for both individuals and businesses alike. Which is why, as a responsible business owner, it’s important to take steps to safely dispose of your company’s e-waste. Not only does e-waste recycling help protect the environment, but it also helps safeguard any sensitive information that’s stored on old electronic devices like computers or cell phones.
Why You Can’t Throw Electronics in the Trash
Electronics should never be simply thrown in a trash receptacle or dumpster that is destined for the landfill. E-waste can contain various toxic substances like mercury, lead, and cadmium which can be harmful to the environment if they make their way into our soil or groundwater. This could cause pollution and lead to people or animals getting sick from exposure to these harmful chemicals.
It’s important to be aware that many municipalities have laws and regulations in place mandating the proper disposal of electronic waste. If your company doesn’t comply with these regulations, you could incur fines or other penalties.
Outdated electronics also often contain sensitive data that could violate privacy or security standards if an outside party gains access to them. In an age where businesses protect intellectual property at all costs, simply throwing an old printer or laptop in the trash without clearing out the data is a costly risk for any company, potentially leading to identity theft, financial fraud, or other forms of cybercrime if it falls into the wrong hands.
While your IT team can handle the data removal process required before recycling e-waste, we’ve put together a simple step-by-step guide for safely disposing of your e-waste as part of the sustainable junk removal process.
4 Steps to Recycle E-Waste During the Junk Removal Process
If your company is ready to clean out your old junk, take these steps first to ensure your electronics are handled properly:
- Sort through the piles of junk to be recycled and place all electronic items (laptops, printers, cell phones, computers, other appliances) in a separate pile.
- Additionally, take an inventory of current technology in your office or retail space and identify any other items that have reached the end of their life cycle. Is there an old fax machine sitting in the corner collecting dust? Is there an unused business phone shelved under the register that’s no longer in use? Add these items to the electronics pile for disposal.
- Schedule a junk removal pick-up with a reputable company like CheckSammy that offers e-waste recycling.
- When the junk removal company arrives to haul away your junk, make sure that they sort and separate the electronic items and ask them for a track-and-trace report so that you can see exactly how everything was disposed of. This report with verifiable recycling data is especially useful for ESG reporting.
Above all, it is extremely important for companies to establish a plan for e-waste disposal as part of your junk removal efforts and to ensure that all employees are aware of your policies for disposing of electronic devices. Partnering with a responsible e-waste recycling service like CheckSammy helps simplify this process and gives you peace of mind knowing that everything is being handled appropriately. Contact us today to learn how we can help with your e-waste disposal needs.
Dive deeper into the CheckSammy Blog by reading one of our posts below
Feeling the Pain of Higher Resident Turnover? Apartment Junk Removal Can Help
If you’re a property manager, you’ve probably had a significant increase in tenant turnover over the last couple of years. So it’s no wonder apartment junk removal may be top of mind for you right now. There are several reasons for this shift. For one, the housing market is on fire right now. In 2020 […]Read More
Setting Up a Community E-waste Recycling Program
E-waste is the fastest-growing municipal waste stream according to the EPA, yet e-waste recycling isn’t keeping pace. In fact, only 12.5% of all e-waste is recycled, reports the EPA. Starting a community e-waste recycling program is a terrific way to ensure hazardous e-waste, like lithium-ion batteries, doesn’t end up in your community’s landfill. Creating an […]Read More
Waste Management’s Role in the Circular Economy
Establishing a waste management program for your business or community is one of the best ways you can contribute to the circular economy. Here’s everything you need to know about waste management’s role in the circular economy (and how to get involved). What Is the Circular Economy? Our current economic model is all about taking […]Read More