1. Why should I recycle my unwanted electronics?
In its 2007 annual report the EPA calculated that 29.9 million desktops and 12 million laptops were discarded. If you do the math you will determine that 112,000 computers were thrown out every day. The U.S. generated more than 3 million tons of Electronic scrap in 2007. What is shocking that only about 400,000 tons or about 13% of it was recycled?
When left untreated electronic equipment can cause serious health and pollution problems. Electronic equipment contains lead, cadmium, and brominated flame retardants. When unwanted electronics are dumped in the local landfill leaching of the toxic containments can occur.
2. Why should we pay for our electronics to be recycled?
Many compaines and individuals will pick up your unwanted electronics for free of charge but there is a catch. In the past and unfortunately in the present some companies & individuals will pick up your unwanted electronics for free. However, these companies do not and have no intention of recycling your electronics safely and correctly. Once they have your material they will strip all of the recyclable commodities out of the equipment and they will discard the rest into landfills or they will export it to an underdeveloped country. In the past few years companies have relied on third world nations as a dumping ground. These companies will ship container loads of hazardous electronic material to these countries where it is disposed of in a dangerous way. Most of it is burned in open fields which generally lead to major health problems because of the harmful chemicals get into the air and water.
Please view 60 minutes prestentation of the "The Wasteland" http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5274959n&tag=api
3. What is happening to my information?
Most companies that are in the Electronic scrap business do not shred your hard drives. The problem with just wiping your hard drive is that it generally does not go back and scramble all of the data. More times than not after you wipe your hard drive someone with low-level tools will have the ability to recover it. Because of the magnetic nature of hard drives, even when a sector on the drive is written to, it doesn’t necessarily mean the previous data is completely overwritten.
A company needs to decide how important their company’s trade secrets and information are. If it is a company that houses sensitive information of their customers and clients then they must weigh the legal and ethical ramifications of leaked information.
Watch the "Gone For Good Video"