Electronics recycling is commonly referred to as e-waste recycling. E-waste is nothing more than old technology that used to be thrown out as trash. Today there is value in not disposing of e-waste as traditional trash. E-waste can include, computers, TV’s, monitors, phones or anything with a circuit board.
Why e-scrap should be recycled vs. thrown out with regular trash? E-scrap should be recycled for 3 reasons. First, it does not need to ever make it to a landfill. Second, the parts may have value and the ability to be re-used. Finally, e-waste should be recycled as many of its components are harmful to the environment.
As noted above e-waste should never need to make it to a landfill. With the average life of computers and mobile phones being only 2 years that is creating a lot of waste in a short period of time. It is far better to recycle the components of old technology rather than to have them sent to a landfill.
The parts of electronic waste may hold more value separated than the complete item of which you are disposing. Many old computer parts contain precious metals. Some processors have components made of gold, silver, platinum or palladium. While the amount may be small it does take a lot of time and effort to separate these metals from the "worthless" scrap. In bulk, these precious metals can be extracted and combined to make quantities worth re-using. This creates significant value for some recyclers.
The EPA regulates the amount of e-waste that can be dumped into landfills. If you or your business breaches the leaching limit for dumping electronic waste you will be required to register as a hazardous waste generator. In addition to precious metals electronic waste can also contain materials such as lead. Lead is harmful to the environment in which it is dumped. With the rate that e-waste is growing this could cause leaching into the landfill area or presents an environmental hazard that could contaminate waterways and drinking supplies.