How to Start an Electronic Recycling Program at Work
Whether you work at an ultra-modern paperless office, or you still have “file rooms” filled with metal filing cabinets, electronic devices are an inescapable part of the 2016 office. The modern office likely has drawers filled with dated mobile devices, broken tablets, low-performance laptops and charger cables galore; whereas the traditional office probably has a corner of a storeroom overflowing with broken or dated printers, empty ink cartridges and old electric binding equipment that no longer serves a purpose.
If either of these office scenarios sounds familiar and you cringe every time you see old equipment piling up, it might be time to research the benefits of starting an electronic recycling program at work.
First, Understand Why Electronics Pile Up Around Offices
You may assume management is just having a hard time letting go of “valuable” equipment that the company once paid top dollar for; but more likely, the real reason has to do with the strict local and federal laws around proper disposal of electronics.
Most electronic devices have some type of hazardous material that cannot be safely disposed of in landfills:
- Hexavalent chromium
- Brominated flame-retardants
- Polyvinyl chloride
- Polychlorinated biphenyls
How Do Offices Get Rid of Old Electronics?
Companies deal with this obstacle in a variety of ways:
- Participate in buy-back programs at office supply and electronic stores, and get cash to purchase upgraded equipment
- Donate electronics still in working condition to schools, low income families, and nonprofit organizations, and write it off on their taxes
- Partner with a local e-cycle company that offers legally-compliant electronic recycling programs
Starting an Electronic Recycling Program
If your Chicago area company is interested in an e-cycle program, it’s important to partner with a collector or recycler that has been vetted by the Illinois EPA to ensure your devices are properly wiped, recycled for usable materials, then shredded and disposed of according to EPA guidelines.
Many commercial e-cyclers do not accept one-off pieces but instead schedule large pickups or drop-offs. This means you will still need a place to store used electronics in your office until it is time to recycle them.
You will normally pay a fee for the electronics collector to pick up your old devices. Then, depending on whether the collector partners with a recycler that demanufactures or shreds the electronics, there may be an opportunity for your company to make a small profit on the materials salvaged from your old devices.
Just as with private recycling companies that collect metal, plastic, glass, and paper, each e-cycler will have a different process, and it will be up to your company to choose the benefit of working with one vendor over another.
Call Combined Resources Inc. to Learn More About Electronic Recycling Programs at Work
If you’re interested in starting an electronic recycling program at work, contact CRI at 630-693-0111 for a free recycling audit and see how you can reduce your environmental impact one device at a time.
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