Reduce, reuse, reboot!
With global e-waste projected to hit 80m tonnes next year, consumers need to put pressure on technology firms to make their products more repairable.
Start with a mobile phone
You’ll probably have noticed that recycling your mobile phone is comparatively easy. Not only is there a huge resale market for these in developing countries but mobile phones also produce gold, silver and copper. In the UK, mobile phone companies have paid into funding schemes such as Recycle Your Tec or Envirophone.
Make the retailer take it back
Waste electrical and electronic equipment (adding up to the unfortunate acronym WEEE) is covered in EU law by the WEEE directive (who knows what Brexit may bring), designed to stop people doing the worst thing they can do with electronic waste: chuck it into landfill. When retailers sell you a new item they have to, by law, take in the equivalent old model and dispose of it according to regulation. It therefore becomes their responsibility, schemes such as PC World offer a take back scheme when buying a new laptop or desktop PC.
I know from experience (a new vacuum cleaner) that this can mean a lot of standing around in a high street store while the manager denies all knowledge of the WEEE directive but do persist. If the retailer or manufacturer uses Environcom as a contractor, this is good news – the Grantham-based company recently won a prestigious Circular economy award for reprocessing WEEE.
Stockpile your tech e-waste.
This might sound like the hoarder’s way out, but change is a-coming. At the moment 45% of UK waste electrical goods are recycled, with 80% of it going overseas. By 2020, at least 85% will have to be recycled. Recycling with a company such as Recycle Your Tec ensure that you’re E-Waste is reduced, reused or rebooted ( repaired ) Such schemes work wonders for the environment as all items are given new homes or used for parts, by recycling via a scheme such as this, you could even make some money back at the same time ( specification permitting )
Shun an upgrade and buy thoughtfully
The fewer phones you have, the fewer you need to recycle. Easy. Taking a slow approach to tech and eking out the lifespan of key gadgets is key to cutting your contribution to e-waste. When you must replace, use Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics. Tech behemoths score badly for scaling down repairability. Also look for tech that avoids problematic resources in the first place or uses sustainable materials – House of Marley headphones, for instance, use FSC certified wood. The Eco-vert label denotes low-energy manufacture and avoidance of toxic materials and appears on some printers and computers. Fairphone.com is the ethical market leader – it not only uses conflict-free minerals but is a modular product designed to be repairable.
Recycle Your Tec works with individuals, schools, charities & businesses with its technology recycling, no matter the size of the desired recycle, RYT is able to support at minimal or no cost to you or your business.
Give them a call today to discuss you’re recycling needs.