E-Waste Disposal Dos and Don’ts
Most Americans probably know that the capital of China is Beijing, a city rich with culture, art and history. What is probably lesser known to many Americans is that China has another more infamous capital that is less picturesque and has a darker history. The location is Guiya, a town in Guangdong Province, China. It is the e-waste capital of China. There the roads are paved with wires, electronics and plastic that originated in the US. But the problem of e-waste is not just a problem for the residents of this town; it is a worldwide problem that reaches across many industrialized and non-industrialized countries alike. What is E-waste? E-waste is the popular name for a large variety of electronics and electronic components that can no longer be used for the purpose for which they were intended. • Batteries: cadmium, copper, and (in older batteries) mercury • Cell phones: antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, zinc • Computers and computer monitors: arsenic, cadmium, lead, PCBs • Electronic devices: lead • Fluorescent lamps: mercury • Televisions: arsenic, cadmium, lead, PCBs Dos and Don’ts of E-Waste Disposal • Do: Use a disposal company. For businesses that dispose of large amounts of e-waste, using a company that specializes in electronic waste destruction has advantages. First, companies like Secure Waste Disposal, Inc. can guarantee your privacy when disposing of your sensitive data and e-waste items. Secondly, we encourage electronics destruction during e-waste disposal. So you can rest assured that not only are your items properly disposed of, but that they are completely destroyed and unusable. • Do: Remove all personal and/or confidential information. Easily available data destruction software can “shred” files that could otherwise fall into the wrong hands. • Do: Check to see if electronic components work before disposing of them. If these components do work, consider donating them to schools, etc., for re-use or repurposing. • Do: When donating phones remove their SIM cards. Your SIM card identifies you on your provider’s network and contains your network authorization data, personal security keys, contact lists and stored text messages etc. Physically destroy the SIM card after removing it from the phone. • Don’t: Leave your hard drive in your computer when disposing of it. Be sure to back up all data before getting rid of your computer and erase the data by reformatting the hard drive. • Don’t: Dispose of batteries by simply throwing them away. Many batteries contain dangerous elements such as cadmium, copper, and mercury • Don’t: Group alkaline batteries together for disposal. Live batteries could come in contact with one another and cause a safety risk. E-waste is a problem that reaches all corners of the world and impacts nearly everyone. From businesses in New York, to Smartphone owners in Chicago, to the most remote city in China we are all interconnected by this challenge of the digital age. Here at Secure Waste Disposal, Inc. we will dispose of all your e-waste safely and efficiently.