When most people think of recycling, they imagine sorting their trash to set aside plastic bottles, glass containers, and paper products with the classic triangle-shaped recycling logo. While these materials have long been the most common to be recycled, there is a growing awareness of the need to view recycling electronics as a crucial part of living green. In fact, more and more states have banned the disposal of electronics in landfills and are promoting electronics recycling programs.
Many household electronics can be recycled, including; cell phones, televisions, computer monitors, computer hard drives, keyboards, telecommunications scraps, servers, circuit boards, power supplies, CD players, digital cameras, and a variety of other items. This long list of e-waste products presents a new opportunity to dramatically reduce the amount of waste that modern society produces throughout everyday life. While e-waste recycling presents a great opportunity, it also presents a great potential danger if we ignore it. For example, CRT screen televisions (classic televisions) contain an average of four to eight pounds of lead. When dumped into landfills, lead from these units can absorb into the soil and make the soil and groundwater toxic. This process causes irreparable damage to the environment, as well as to our own critical vital resources.
On July 1, 2011, North Carolina became the 18th state in the union to place some form of ban on the disposal of electronics in landfills. North Carolina residents must now recycle their old televisions and computers. This prohibition covers all components of the computer, including; monitors, CPUs, laptops, printers, fax machines, scanners, mice, and keyboards. The ban also covers all televisions, including; flat screen televisions, tube televisions and projection televisions.
While the ban is intended to prevent citizens from disposing of their e-waste in the trash, the state does not seek to target individuals for non-compliance. The new law will be enforced at landfills and those companies will be responsible for rejecting waste containing prohibited items. Enforcement of this new law presents additional challenges for officials, as the motivation for landfills to comply can only be judged on a case-by-case basis. Outside of landfill management, take the initiative to do the right thing; there are few things that prevent them from doing business as usual.
In addition to the benefits that this new law presents for residents of North Carolina and the rest of the United States, this law represents a growing trend of public awareness and the actions that the leaders of this country are taking to bring the American people to a new era of environmental impact. responsible living. And while we are taking great strides to reverse the damage that we have caused in the past 50 years, other countries like China and India are experiencing technological revolutions and will soon be presented with the same problems that we are seeking solutions to in this country now.
It is our responsibility as technology leaders to show other nations that there is a productive way to live responsibly and that this way of life can go hand in hand with economic health and prosperity. As our recycling industry grows and contributes to the economic growth of this country, people’s eyes are opened to new possibilities. People constantly have the opportunity to live responsibly while enjoying the many benefits of a technologically advanced lifestyle.