It is common place these days to see multiple recycling bins in offices for food packaging, scraps, cups and unwanted paper. And whilst this is a great step forward in the war against waste, did you ever consider what happens to the larger items in your office?
With regular technology upgrades available and older systems rapidly becoming out of date – such as the ceasing of support for Windows XP announced for next year, or the new iPhone release – electronics are being replaced on a more and more regular basis. And with us constantly turning to newer, more advanced technologies, this is in turn leaving many computers and mobile phones deemed obsolete.
So what do you do with the electronics which you have discarded as being out of date? Let them pile up in the basement? Take them to the tip? You wouldn’t be the only one. It’s estimated that the UK generates around 50 million tonnes of electronic waste every year. But what you might not realise is that this is extremely harmful to the environment, as many of these electronics contain toxins and hazardous materials, which can leak out and effect the environment around them if not disposed of correctly.
Many people seem unaware that there are procedures and companies in place which can dispose of electrical equipment safely and responsibly, and so, unable to see an alternative, they turn to just dumping them in tips and landfill sites.
There are, in fact, many businesses out there who will take scrap computer boards, old monitors and TV sets off your hands – and some will even pay you for the privilege! Computer circuit boards often contain scrap gold, including gold-plated plugs or connectors, due to gold being an excellent electricity conductor which is resistant to corrosion. Precious metal refiners at AWA will purchase these boards from you, and strip the boards from their metal components, in order to extract gold and any other useful metals, such as silver and copper. The process is carried out in a controlled environment using specialist equipment, ensuring safety for the staff and for a more sustainable environment.
Ensuring your office is as green as possible doesn’t always have to cost the earth. By taking advantage of recycling companies and metal refiners, you can feel confident that you are helping the planet, and earn your business a little bit of extra cash. You can recycling electronic units, old plugs, wires, components, connectors, mobile phones and much more through these companies.
If you do choose to visit a recycling company, ensure that they are registered with the Environment Agency for hazardous waste, so that you can be sure that the disposal process is carried out in a manner which is safe for people and the environment.
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive dictates that by 2016, EU member states will have to collect 45 tonnes of electronic waste for every 100 tonnes put on sale during the previous three years. Why not make sure that your business starts making a difference today?