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What Data Center Equipment is Recycled

Jun 25

As technological progress brings new conveniences to our daily lives, many older devices become obsolete and are discarded by their owners as unnecessary. The result is an ever-growing amount of e-waste, which is technically anything that uses electrical power to operate but was created and used for a specific purpose at one point. While some e-waste is considered “junk” by the people that chuck it, most of this technology still has useful components that can be reused. If these electronics are properly categorized and refurbished by a professional recycler, they can be re-used, saving companies money on replacements and reducing the amount of toxic waste that ends up in landfills. For more click

The e-waste recycling process starts with collecting and sorting the devices. This allows for the accurate separation of materials such as metals, plastics and circuit boards. The resulting materials are then used to produce new devices, reducing the need for new resources and helping to save on energy. Many of these recycled materials are very valuable, especially rare earth metals and precious metals. The process of electronics recycling helps to conserve these precious resources and reduce the need for mining operations, which pollute the environment and damage our planet’s natural resources.

Electronics contain a number of very dangerous and poisonous materials such as mercury, lead and beryllium. When these chemicals are disposed of in a landfill, they slowly dissolve and seep into the soil. This is known as leaching and can cause health problems for land and sea animals that come into contact with it. These toxic substances also pollute the air in landfills, damaging the atmosphere.

Most electronics can be recycled, including cell phones, computers, printers, scanners, televisions, cameras and audio equipment. There are a few exceptions, such as old cathode ray tubes (CRT TVs) that have dangerous levels of mercury and lead that must be handled as hazardous waste.

Increasing sustainable e-waste management can help to create green jobs, reduce harm from exports of e-waste being handled unsafely in developing countries, support the growth of domestic markets for viable and functional used electronic equipment and help to keep sensitive materials out of landfills. Electronic recycling can also reduce the need to mine scarce and valuable raw materials and cut back on pollution caused by the manufacturing process.

Responsible e-waste management begins with taking advantage of manufacturers’ existing take-back programs. Often, these programs offer convenient and free collection of obsolete equipment for their own brand products, as well as devices from other brands. These programs help to prevent e-waste from being shipped to places like China where it is often handled in disreputable ways. If the manufacturer does not offer a program, the best way to recycle electronic waste is through certified facilities. These facilities must be R2 certified, which ensures that they meet strict requirements for data destruction and recycling as well as environmental and occupational health and safety. This can be done by visiting the manufacturers’ websites or by looking for a facility that is a member of the Institute of Tech Waste Recycling Industries.