Is E-Scrap Hazardous?
Although it may not seem obvious, electronic scrap (e-scrap) is in fact hazardous to both human and environmental health. The rapid advances in computer technology mean that we as consumers are continually upgrading and increasingly discarding. E-scrap not only takes up space in landfills, but it is a major source of toxic chemicals like lead, mercury, cadmium, zinc, beryllium, nickel, and brominated flame retardants7, all of which can leach into the environment and our bodies.
What to do with E-Scrap
Electronic Scrap, commonly referred to as e-scrap may contain both hazardous materials and valuable resources. Electronic scrap may contain toxic materials, such as lead, mercury and hexavalent chromium that, if improperly handled, may be released into the environment and threaten our health. E-scrap may also contain valuable resources that can be reused or recycled to conserve virgin resources.
In an effort to prevent these materials from entering landfills, the Monroe County Solid Waste Program and the Habitat for Humanity Restore are partnering to offer collection of electronic waste on an ongoing basis.
The Restore will be accepting:computer systems ,monitors, CPU’s, printers, keyboards, peripherals, laptops, televisions, VCR/DVD Players and vidoe game systems. The Habitat for Humanity Restore is located at 840 LaPlaisance Road in Monroe. They will accept materials from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday. For questions, please contact the Restore at (734) 243-1108 or the Monroe County Solid Waste Coordinator at (734) 240-7909 or by email. The Monroe County Youth Center also accepts non-working laptops and ipods and inkjet and toner cartridges for recycling. The laptops must have the batteries intact, a/c power cord and must contain the battery. The Youth Center is located at 3600 South Custer Road, Monroe.
For more information regarding electronic scrap visit the Environmental Protection Agency website.
“E-scrap” is a loosely defined term that generally includes:
Computers and their peripheral equipment
VCRs and DVD players
Radios and stereo equipment
Planned obsolescence and the rapid advancements in technology caught us off-guard in terms of waste management and electronics make up a rising percentage of the solid waste stream.
To minimize your impact on the environment, first REDUCE the amount of electronics you use and discard by upgrading your computer instead of buying a new one. Research manufacturers who practice product stewardship. When consumers demand through their purchasing power that companies be environmentally responsible, they can change the face of the market!
Read the Guide to Environmentally Preferable Computer Purchasing provided by the Northwest Product Stewardship Council.