Electronic waste recycling

Electronic waste (also known as e-waste) comes from discarded electronic devices - computer monitors, television screens, and cellular phones. These devices are comprised of toxic substances - mercury, lead, cadmium, PVCs, brominated flame retardants, and Chromium VI - which can cause damage to blood systems, increased risks of cancer, and other serious health problems.

E-waste that is not properly recycled or disposed of can end up in rivers and other water supplies, poisoning nearby communities. But even proper recycling of electronic equipment does not guarantee it will not end up in a landfill overseas.

However ask your chosen recycler how they deal with their material. BAN.org campaigns against electronic materials being sent to poorer countries that can least afford efficient disposal and which impacts both human and environmental health. To help determine if your supplier also takes this into consideration, ask them questions such as:

  • Do you process electronics locally or send it overseas?
  • What percentage is sent overseas? Where is it sent?
  • What happens to electronic material once it is processed through your facility?
  • What is the material re-used for?
  • Ask for a copy of your supplier's corporate social responsibility policy?