Recycling Old Equipment – Green your Office
Consider your own recycling habits in the office.
When you get a new computer, do you recycle the old one? When you get a new flat screen TV, do you dispose of the old one properly? Many of us do not always do what’s best for the environment, but fortunately as of today, in New York state, it is easier to recycle old computer equipment. As of today, New Yorkers can recycle their electronics—computers, TVs, DVD players, etc.—at no charge. The Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act, which was signed into law last year but goes into effect today, requires manufacturers to take back electronics—no matter who made it—for recycling whenever customers purchase a new product.
Green, Environmentally-Friendly Office Equipment Recycling
This means that if a company buys a new computer from a manufacturer, that company is required by law to accept the person or company’s used computer. From that point, the old equipment must be recycled or reused instead of ending up in a landfill. This is great news for the environment.
A Green Role Model for Other Countries
New York state is taking the lead in becoming a role model for other states and even other countries. Manufacturers must register with the Department of Environmental Conservation, which oversees the new law, and establish a convenient program for collecting electronics, but it is up to them whether to accept items in stores, through collection events, or mail-back programs.
What is e-waste?
e-waste, a term that is growing in popularity and signifies waste from PC monitors, PCBs, CDs, motherboards, cables, toner cartridges, light bulbs, phone systems, and other office necessities are more often than not dumped into landfills where they release lead and mercury toxins into the air and ground. India generates $1.5 billion worth of e-waste domestically each year. Bangalore alone generates 8,000 tons a year. This is due in part to the booming IT sector.
Business Owners and Recycling
As a business owner, it is difficult to know where to take used computer equipment, printer cartridges and TVs. This new law simplifies this. And although this law only pertains to New York state, business owners can visit the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) online for more info, including a list of specific items covered by the law, or sign up for their mailing list to receive updates. DEC Commissioner Joe Martens called this a huge win for the environment and consumers. “Manufacturers of TV’s, computers, printers, copiers and other electronic products are stepping up to help New York meet our ambitious recycling goals and lower costs for local governments.“
The advantage to the environment is huge. A product creates environmental impacts throughout its lifecycle, from raw material extraction and manufacture to its use and disposal.
Benefits to the environment include:
- reduce the amount of waste generated
- prevent the release of hazardous materials into our ecosystems
- conserve the earth’s limited resources by reducing raw material extraction and encouraging more sustainable approaches to manufacturing.
- The manufacturer is required to provide details of their electronic waste take-back program on their web site, including how they will take back their brand of products, locations where electronic waste can be dropped for and recycled for free.
- The manufacturer is required to provide details of how to ship back equipment to the manufacturer free of cost.
- When purchasing new covered electronic equipment, information on how the equipment can be recycled must be provided in the product manual or separately with the purchase.
- With the new covered electronic equipment purchase, a manufacturer must accept a piece of electronic waste of any manufacturer’s brand if offered by the consumer with purchase of covered electronic equipment of the same type by a consumer.
Recycle Office Equipment
Put out your recycle-reduce-reuse sign on the world wide web and watch as more and more new customers appreciate your environmental efforts. Not only is it good advertising, it is good for the environment. And that’s a good thing.