How To Make Recycling Electronics Easy

Imagine, you are walking down a popular street in a major metropolitan city. It’s the middle of the day, you have no engagements to attend to and it’s a perfect seventy degrees and partly cloudy. In your hand is a plastic water bottle and you have just finished the last drop. Several yards ahead of you in your walking path is a public trash can as well as a public recycling bin right next to it. Most likely, you will throw your plastic bottle in the recycling bin. You may even feel good about yourself for recycling.

Now imagine this scenario. You have just finished drinking the water bottle and several yards ahead of you is a trash can, but no recycling bin in sight. You know of a recycling bin that is a few blocks away, but it’s a little out of the way and you will have to cross traffic. What would you do in this situation? Sure, there will be some people who actually take the time to walk to the recycling bin and properly dispose of their waste. But I think it’s safe to assume that most people with just throw their waste away in the trash can which will ultimately end up in a landfill.

For most people, recycling is merely a nuisance. It can be somewhat of a hassle and I would like to discuss that it’s important to make recycling as easy as possible. Not only are there lazy people in the world, but most people simply do not care enough. Recycling is not very high on the list of priorities for most people.

There is a popular web design book called, Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug. The basic idea of the book is in its title. Don’t make people have to think when they’re on your website and make things blatantly obvious. If you want them to buy something, put a giant orange button that says “buy now”. Ultimately, it’s about not wasting people’s time and energy while they’re on your site. If you don’t care enough to make things easy, then why should they care about choosing you?

This is an ideology that I have been thinking about lately and trying to apply it to electronics recycling. Right now, people only have a couple options. You could bring your electronics to a recycling center, but let’s be honest, it’s a hassle. That assumes you can even lift the electronics out of your home and then have the proper vehicle to drive them to a drop-off center. I suppose you could have someone help you or hire them to take the electronics. I’m sure you could find plenty of people on Craigslist who would be willing. The problem is that it’s not a large scale solution. There are even kiosks where you can trade your old cell phone in and they give you cash. But you could just as easily sell your phone on eBay and make significantly more money.

The paper recycling industry completely changed when curbside pick-ups were made available. According to the EPA, “About 73 percent of newspaper/mechanical papers and 91 percent of corrugated cardboard were recovered in 2011.” Significantly less electronic waste is recovered, yet it is among the most toxic waste in the municipal waste stream. While curbside pick-up is a viable option for paper, plastics and glass, it’s not a tenable solution for e-waste. First, it’s runs the risk of increasing crime and stolen electronics. There are already major issues with metal theft in the United States and and e-waste curbside pick-up will only add to that. Also, people have sensitive information stored in their devices and it must be properly cleared and deconstructed in a facility to ensure safety. Secondly, the weather could ruin much of the electronic waste, especially electronics that could be re-marketed.

So what are we left with? I believe the consumer market for electronics recycling is somewhat untapped. The EPA stated, “In 2009, approximately 25 percent of TVs, computer products, and cell phones that were ready for end-of-life management were collected for recycling. Cell phones were recycled at a rate of approximately 8 percent.” Clearly the consumer market isn’t being handled as well as it could.

I believe the future of obtaining e-waste from consumers will rely on recycling pick-ups and secure drop-off boxes around cities. Drop-off boxes are similar to clothing drop-off boxes and may be a better solution, the problem is it still requires the consumers to dispose of the electronics themselves. It’s rare to see a recycling company offer pick-ups for consumers. Most companies only do pick-up and transportation for commercial purposes and have a minimum amount they will pick-up. It’s not worth it to them to send a large truck to go pick-up a couple computers and a microwave.

A recycling pick-up company may have to be it’s own entity. It could be something like a trash pick-up service like 1-800-GOT-JUNK. The beauty in this service is that it takes the hassle away from you. You don’t have to carry things, have the proper vehicle or drop it off. They do it all for you, but at a cost. Many people don’t mind taking out their credit card in order to prevent extra stress and strenuous activity. This may be a good solution to cleaning up e-waste and should be considered by anyone who want to make an impact. This article was more of a brainstorm for coming up with solutions.

What solutions do you have that I may have missed?

Lessons From Japan On How To Recycle Electronics

There’s a famous story about the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés when he arrived in Veracruz. Cortés had his own ships burned so they could not retreat and were forced to conquer. The real story is that he actually sunk the ships instead of burning them, but it’s the same idea. I like to think of this as Japan when it comes to recycling electronics. Japan is a small island and they have to be much more careful with how much they produce and how much they discard. In a way, they have burned the boats because Japan has no choice but to handle its waste issues. They may not be able to afford landfills with excess electronics spewing out toxins that are detrimental to the environment as well as human health. Japan has designed their system based on the 3R’s, reduce, reuse and recycle.

Japan has some regulations when it comes to discarding e-waste: the “Law for the Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources (LPUR)” and the “Law for the Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances (LRHA)”. The first law essentially encourages the manufacturers of electronics to help out with the recycling of waste. The second law is essentially an add-on law that now requires LCD/Plasma televisions, clothing dryers, air conditioners, tube television sets, refrigerators and washing machines to be recycled.  The LRHA requires that consumers must cover the costs of recycling their appliances.

I’m interested to see what this would be like if implemented in a country like the United States. If we held the consumers and manufacturers accountable, would  we live in a very different society? I think it would change the consumer’s psychology because they would now be responsible for discarding their waste through proper recycling means. People would probably make more rational decisions when it comes to purchasing electronics if they knew they would have to properly recycle it rather than throw it away. Japan encourages reuse of their electronics as well. When most people purchase a new TV or a smart phone, do they really need a new one? As a recycler of electronic waste, we get thousands of pounds in each year of perfectly good electronics. The United States has a serious problem with conspicuous consumption and marketing has instilled a hunger in us that is only satisfied by consuming. There could potentially be economic issues if e-waste was regulated like this in the United States. It could potentially kill much of the electronic sales and the economy could take a hit.

In an ideal world, people would simply want to recycle their electronics for simply moral and ethical reasons. But we do not live in an ideal world and must take a realistic view of the world in solving problems. Many people simply do not care about recycling. We may never get them to care, but we can require them to recycle. There are so many issues in the world that it’s quite overwhelming and confusing to the individual. Regulating e-waste may be part of the answer and it may not be. But then again, it will be much simpler to regulate electronic waste than it will be to motivate society.

What do you think? Could regulation be a good thing or not? What are some ways you think we could motivate people to recycle without forcing them to?

Computer & Electronics Recycling Cambridge, MA

Cambridge, Massachusetts is known for many things, but most importantly it is known for its prestigious universities and for being the technology center of New England. Between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center, this part of the greater Boston Area relies heavily on computers and other electronics to remain on the cutting edge of technology. The rate at which technology is growing, many computers get outdated within a matter of a year or two. What are you to do with all of your old equipment at these large universities and companies?

ACB Recovery is here to make sure that you don’t waste your old equipment and to make sure that you get paid for it too! We provide pickup service to Cambridge, MA and we can work with your schedule to make this process seamless.  Call us today to learn more about how our process works and to learn how you can make money with your old Computers and Electronics!

Make ACB Recovery Your Go-To Recycler!

Times are tough for many business owners. One of the last things that’s on a business owners mind is worrying about recycling their business’s waste in an environmentally safe manner. Not that they don’t care, just because it slips their mind when worrying about their business’s daily operation. Allow Allied Computer Brokers to become your go-to recycler and we will let you focus on your business and improving its success. Contact Allied representative today to develop a customized recycling solution that fits your needs and your schedule!

ACB Recovery Massachusetts Recycling

ACB Recovery Massachusetts Recycling

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Hospital Cleanouts and Recycling in Massachusetts – Boston

ACB Recovery offers services to all sorts of business in Massachusetts. Hospitals are a vital part of all our lives and they need to constantly be updating their technology and equipment. ACB Recovery partners with many Hospitals in Eastern Massachusetts and we know how to work with the busy Hospital schedules. We can take care of all of your old equipment and make sure that it gets recycled properly and responsibly. Call ACB Recovery today to learn more about our services!

Proper Electrionic Computer Recycling Boston, MA

ACB provides comprehensive recycling services for all types of electronic equipment. ACB alleviates the burden in determining the proper disposal methodology, while providing an environmental liability defense from improper disposal.

Pick Up & Transportation Boston, MA

ACB can provide transportation of surplus electronic equipment in ACB-owned vehicles with ACB-employee drivers. Alternatively, a client can provide transportation to ACB’s facility in its own vehicles. In some cases, ACB arranges transportation through a third party. In all cases in which transportation is provided or arranged by ACB, vehicles and drivers are fully compliant with applicable state and US. DOT regulations.

ACB Transportation
ACB owns and operates two 26-foot “dry van” box vehicles. Under current regulations, no special permit or documentation is required to transport used electronic equipment in five of the six states where ACB now provides transportation services (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York). In the State of Maine, an EPA identification number is required, and a transporter of used CRTs must also provide a spill control plan and spill management materials on board each vehicle operating in the state. Maine also requires that each shipment that includes CRTs must be accompanied by a “Recyclable Hazardous Material Uniform Bill of Lading.” ACB is fully compliant with these State of Maine requirements.

Client Transportation

ACB will receive at its dock door materials that are brought to the ACB facility by clients or by third parties under contract to ACB clients. In this case it is incumbent on the generator to assure that vehicles and drivers are fully compliant with all permitting and licensing requirements, and that each shipment is accompanied by any required generator-supplied paperwork (such as the Maine Recyclable Hazardous Material Uniform Bill of Lading).

Recycling your Electronics in Boston!

Got some old electronics or appliances laying around the house? Dont let them be an eye sore and take up space. Come recycling them today at ACB Recovery and earn some immediate cash!

ACB Recovery Boston, MA

Welcome to ACB Recovery’s Blog! Follow our blog to learn more about the recycling services that we provide. Call to learn more (978.388.9965) or visit our website! (http://www.acbrecovery.com)