eWaste Statistics: Could a Potential Source of Clean Energy Be Laying Around Your Office?
As experts across the country attempt to work out a solution to the ongoing transition away from fossil fuels and other finite energy resources, it is becoming clear that a workable solution has been staring us in the face for years; our old cell phones could be a potential source of clean energy.
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) estimates that more than 5.3 billion cell phones will be discarded this year. Considering this influx happens on an annual basis, researchers theorize there is a literal mine of untapped resources just sitting in junk drawers across the country.
Old Cell Phones Could Be the Solution
Instead of sitting around unused, these resources could be contributing to new forms of green technology, including wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries for electric vehicles. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of this potential and end up tossing their devices, which results in the device being lost forever in a landfill.
UNITAR estimates that the processing and refining required to produce cell phones accounts for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. Considering that society got along just fine before the influx of cellular devices, this is a problem in desperate need of a solution.
Some of these solutions are simpler than one would think. For example, by repurposing an old cell phone, the minerals and metals can be extracted and used for more eco-friendly technologies.
In addition to boosting the production of more sustainable technologies, repurposing the elements in our mobile phones would significantly decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Recycling Is as Easy as Cleaning Out Your Drawers
If you inspect your junk drawers, odds are you’ll find a variety of old electronics that could be repurposed in the manner described above. There is science behind this presumption as well.
A survey conducted by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Forum in Europe found that the average European household has an average of 74 electronic devices. This same survey found that out of all these devices, at least 13 are not in use. And this doesn’t apply only to cell phones. Any of the following items could be recycled:
- Remote controls
- Hard drives
Sadly, researchers expect the number of discarded electronics to increase in the coming years. This trend is alarming due to the sheer urgency of curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Considering that the United States does not have a nationally regulated e-waste management system, one of the primary problems seems to be educating the public.
Fortunately, many companies are leading the charge by instituting their own collection programs.
For example, cell phone providers and computer manufacturers institute buyback and upgrade programs on an annual basis, allowing consumers to trade in their old devices for new ones. This is a fantastic way to recycle old technology while ensuring consumers have the latest technology at their fingertips.
Looking to Recycle Your Cell Phones in Sioux Falls? Contact the Experts
If your business is looking to recycle its cell phones or securely dispose of other data-containing devices, contact Secure Enterprise Asset Management in Sioux Falls today. As the only certified ITAD provider in the region, we proudly serve North Dakota and South Dakota and specialize in secure data destruction, electronics recycling, equipment decommissioning and resale, and more.