Tuesday, February 18, 2014


The growing rate of technology in our society today has produced mass amounts of pollution from the old, discarded products that people no longer want. This kind of waste can cause massive amounts of pollution and can be very unhealthy for the environment as well as a health hazard to all of us. There are millions of electronics that we throw away everyday because a new and better piece of technology comes out - so what are we suppose to do with these old devices? Some of these devices include computers, television sets, printers and mobile phones.  Often times these discarded products are dumped into so-called “third world” societies.  When these products are discarded into developing countries they emit hazardous chemicals such as lead, mercury, heavy metals and other toxic substances. Not only are these chemicals released into the environment but they also harm the workers that have to handle the discarded products.

            Many of us do not realize the harm that this type of waste produces when we’re on our way to get the newest edition of our phone.  Despite our conscious efforts to recycle other household items, most of us don’t know where else to put our old electronic devices - is it in the trash? Recycling? Or selling it to a local electronics store?  If you want to purge your old electronic devices you should engage in the practice of responsible recycling.  This type of recycling is often referred to as “ECycling.”  Ecycling can be done in a variety of ways.  Consumers now have many options to recycle or donate for reuse of their electronic devices.  In fact, many electronic retailers offer some kind of take back program or sponsor recycling events. Further, many states currently have laws on disposal and recycling of electronics and several other states are trying to pass similar laws.  To ensure that electronic recyclers follow environmentally friendly recycling practices there are programs that offer a certification by demonstrating to an accredited, independent third party that they meet available standards on responsible recycling practices.  The EPA encourages this certification and for all customers to choose these certified recyclers.  Next time you’re on your way to go wait in line for the newest, trendiest device, be sure to discard your old one at a certified, environmentally sound recycler!

-Courtney Stasi, Legal Intern