This guest post by Jesse Herman of Repair Launch is all about how to recycle your electronics responsibly, and why you should care.
The overall issue of recycling has placed a high importance on plastics. This is important because of the volume and ultimate long term problem it poses. What has been overlooked is electronics recycling. It is estimated that only 3% of electronics are disposed of correctly. While these devices don't occupy much of the physical space occupied in landfills, they account for over 70% of the toxins.
This all is staggering but even more troubling is our methods of disposing, which is often to ship the materials to countries like India, where cost goes down and profits go up, due to regulation standards, which are very poor.
Keeping all of that in perspective, the stage is set for a movement, provided that measures are taken to preven the exporting of electronic waste to under regulated countries. 13 new e-waste recycling centers have been opened in the United States recently and there are a number of services (in larger populated areas) that may offer pick-ups or nearby dropoffs. It is important to do your research first. Some of these 'services' are a disguise for improper disposal, with companies like Target being accused of not knowing where their 'recycling drive' ewaste is going.
It is important that the public grows a conscience in order to properly dispose of these materials on an individual and corporate level. Here is a good place to start for recycling.
Digging further it can be said that consumers are fully aware of the parameters that have been set. A reaction to job losses and pay cuts people have reduced their spending on new items. Compounded with that is an overall eco-minded general public, who has spent a ton of money the latest gadgets over the past 20 years, along with a quickly growing DIY repair resources base to compliment services and it's easy to see that there is a real market on all levels.
The more popular the device, the more information you can find for repairs. On the cell phone end of thing iPhone repair is a well documented issue. If the information war is any indication, Apple is doing very well.Blackberry's are firmly established online as well, along with a bunch of other models. Repair services at every level are rapidly growing though, right along with a proactive role from users to preserve their purchases and as a result, value there electronics.
DIY Information is searchable for many products and repair services are forming to generate profitable options for those looking for local repairs or those wanting a local business to walk into.