The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 1970 to protect human health and the environment—acknowledging that the two are deeply interrelated.
Humans rely on the earth for bountiful natural resources—the air we breathe, the soil and sunlight that produces the food we eat, the water we drink—all needs to be cared for and respected to ensure the prosperity and longevity of future generations.
The EPA’s goal is to inspire and enable people and companies to do their part to protect the environment, and in turn, future generations of humans. A big part of their mission involves decreasing waste, and increasing the recycling of all types of products and materials. Here we will focus on the disposal of electronics.
How the EPA Wants You to Dispose of Electronic Devices
Efforts to protect the environment by the EPA include restrictions on water use, incentives for more responsible use of resources by homes and businesses, and support for programs that enable individuals and companies to recycle reusable materials.
According to a 2013 report from the Consumer Electronics Association, U.S. households use on average 28 electronic products. One of the EPA’s initiatives is helping individuals repurpose their old devices so they don’t waste the valuable natural resources mined and utilized to create them.
For instance, by their own measurements, if one million laptops are recycled rather than sent to a landfill, the amount of energy saved could power 3,657 U.S. homes.
With educational tools, collection centers, and electronics recycling stewardship initiatives, the EPA hopes to increase the number of electronic devices that are recycled, rather than thrown out. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act was created to help states (which all have their own rules) implement and enforce hazardous waste and recycling initiatives.
How to Ensure the Safety of Your Information When Disposing of Devices
While the goals of the EPA are valiant, it is important that individuals (and businesses) remember that hard drives, laptops, cell phones, and other devices contain private and sensitive information.
While recycling electronics is a fantastic idea, it is important that individuals also ensure their safety.
Before you recycle your electronic devices, be sure to permanently remove any sensitive or private data from them.
It is very possible that your security is taken care of during the recycling process—recycling devices requires dismantling them into basic component parts, separating the parts, and distributing them to different material plants to be melted down and reused.
But to ensure the safety of your information, you may want to take precautions and have your devices destroyed before having them recycled.
Where Green Disposal and Secure Disposal Meet
Almost all electronics destruction service providers recycle the remaining parts.
In this way, using a media destruction service provides a two-fold benefit—it keeps your private info safe and complies with EPA efforts to keep the environment green.
Not all destruction service providers recycle (most do), so be sure to ask your provider if it’s important to you. If your provider does recycle materials after destruction, it is a simple and convenient way to safely and responsibly dispose of your devices.
Find a Responsible Electronics Destruction Provider Near You
You can dispose of your electronic devices in a way that aligns with the EPA’s goals and protects your private information by using a media destruction provider who recycles. Find one in your area today!
Shred Nations partners with reliable, efficient electronics destruction service providers across the nation. We vet our partners so you can save time and find the right service match fast.
Call us today at (800) 747-3365 or fill out the form on the right for free quotes on green and secure destruction services in your neighborhood.