Updated: Jun 26
It seems we’ve become a disposable society. I’ll admit ... I’ve been guilty. For instance, if I ran out of toner for my printer at home, a four-pack of color cartridges would cost me just under $48.00, not including tax. If I purchased a new color printer, which comes with ink cartridges, it would cost just under $40.00 at my local big-box electronics store.
It’s no wonder so many printers, obsolete laptops and old gaming systems end up in the trash. iPhones stop updating and taking a charge. Xbox stops making new games for your old system. Your analog television won’t receive the new digital signals ...
According to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Arkansans throw away millions of tons of trash and other items every year. Three-fourths of it ends up in landfills. U.S. Government data also show nearly 19% of the waste taken to landfills are plastics and nearly 10% metals, which aren’t biodegradable.
The reason people throw items away varies. We can’t place blame. BUT, we can look for other options. While some Arkansans don’t have access to a recycling site and some towns only accept hazardous items on certain days, Goodwill Industries of Arkansas has more than 30 donation locations around the state which accept electronics EVERY day!
If the item works, Goodwill will sell it to help fund education, job training and career services programs for people in your community. If your 1995 laptop bit the dust some time ago, it’s ok. Bring it to us. We’ll recycle it. Whether you’re ridding your home of high-tech clutter or upgrading your office hardware, Goodwill will accept it all.
In case you needed some extra persuading, some interesting facts from dosomething.org:
In 2009, discarded TVs, computers, peripherals (including printers, scanners, fax machines) mice, keyboards, and cell phones totaled about 2.37 million tons.
E-waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste.
20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year.
Cell phones and other electronic items contain high amounts of precious metals like gold or silver. Americans dump phones containing over $60 million in gold/silver every year.
A large number of what is labeled as “e-waste” is actually not waste at all, but rather whole electronic equipment or parts that are readily marketable for reuse or can be recycled for materials recovery.
Only 12.5% of e-waste is currently recycled.
For every 1 million cell phones that are recycled, 35,274 lbs of copper, 772 lbs of silver, 75 lbs of gold, and 33 lbs of palladium can be recovered.
Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year.
E-waste is still the fastest-growing municipal waste stream in America, according to the EPA.
It takes 530 lbs of fossil fuel, 48 lbs of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor.
Electronic items that are considered to be hazardous include, but are not limited to: Televisions and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes, LCD desktop monitors, LCD televisions, Plasma televisions, Portable DVD players with LCD screens.