To nobody’s surprise, much of e-recycling is like voluntary carbon levies – a ploy to make the consumer feel better about themselves. It’s ineffective mainly because it’s cost-prohibitive or dangerous to break electronics down into their composite materials. Or alternatively, a radical concept – people could simply repair and hang onto electronic devices longer. Choose products which are known to be durable and have spare parts support, then use it to the very end.
“There is no such thing as free recycling. Responsible recycling costs money,” he said. “It’s like any other service in America—it’s truly become professionalized. It’s not the old days of scrap yards. This is highly sophisticated business and—if you’re doing it right—you’re using proprietary technology for cutting, cleaning, and shredding, meaning you’re obtaining commodities and destroying everyone’s data. If you’re not responsibly recycling yourself, the data and the environment is at massive risk.”