Responsibly Upgrade with BARC this Holiday Season
As the 2023 holiday season approaches, with Black Friday deals and the anticipation of holiday gifts, it’s a perfect time to consider your recycling strategy for the year. Often, in the excitement of acquiring new electronic devices, people tend to overlook what to do with their old gadgets such as TVs, game consoles, or laptops once they’ve been replaced.
In this blog, we’ll highlight the significance of responsibly upgrading your electronics by recycling the items you no longer need through organizations like BARC. By doing so, you’ll not only make room for new tech but also contribute to the crucial effort of diverting harmful E-waste away from landfills.
Environmental Impact of Improper E-Waste Disposal
As our world increasingly relies on electronic devices, knowing the environmental impact of improper E-waste disposal is vital. E-waste is classified as any electronic product that is unwanted, not working, and nearing or at the end of its “useful life.”
E-waste is a rapidly growing problem; it is estimated that approximately 50 million tons of electronic waste are generated worldwide annually. This comprises 70% of our overall toxic waste in the world. Since only 12.5% of E-waste is correctly recycled, BARC is working hard to make sure more electronics are properly recycled in the future. If you are still not convinced, here are five reasons why e-waste is such a critical issue:
5 Significant Social & Environmental Problems Associated with E-Waste
1. Environmental Pollution
One of the biggest problems associated with E-waste is environmental. This type of waste contains toxic substances like lead, mercury, cadmium, and flame retardants. When improperly disposed of, these chemicals can cause soil and water contamination which poses serious risks to the earth’s ecosystems.
2. Resource Depletion
Another issue with improper disposal of electronics is valuable resource depletion. Electronic devices contain valuable resources like gold, silver, copper, and rare earth metals. When these materials are not reclaimed, it contributes to the depletion of finite resources, increasing mining and extraction demand.
3. Energy Consumption
Making and disposing of electronic devices consume significant amounts of energy. The energy expended in manufacturing and transportation, as well as the energy required for the extraction and processing of raw materials, further contribute to the environmental impact of E-waste.
4. Health Risks
Improper handling and disposal of e-waste can expose workers and nearby communities to hazardous substances. Exposure to these harmful chemicals leads to respiratory, skin, and other health issues.
5. Hazard to Developing Countries
E-waste is often shipped to developing countries where labor is cheaper and environmental regulations are more relaxed. This creates a global problem that negatively impacts the environment and health of the receiving countries.
Recycling Electronics Devices With BARC
Now that we have talked about the negative impact of E-waste to show the importance of electronics recycling, you may be wondering how to get started. First, it’s important to note that all electronic items with a cord, battery, or screen can be recycled as long as they are taken to a suitable facility.
If you live in Northern Michigan, Bay Area Recycling For Community is the perfect place to take all of your electronics to be properly disposed of or recycled. We take an extensive list of electronic items and have a partnership with ERecycle TC. They are a local business certified to wipe hard drives, which is how they help us recycle computer towers, laptops, cellphones, and tablets.
If you are unsure what you can recycle with us, we take everything from a large flat-screen TV to miscellaneous wires for a small recycling fee. Learn more by heading to the pricing page on our website.
Where To Recycle Electronics in Traverse City
Recycle your old electronics with us in Traverse City! Our convenient drop-off location is situated near Chums Corner, right by the Pitspitters Baseball Stadium, at 466 US 31 South, Traverse City, MI 49685. This central collection point is where we gather most of our waste, including electronics, for sorting. You’re welcome to bring your electronics for recycling on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Unfortunately, we cannot accept drop-offs outside these hours, but you can opt for our pickup service to make the process more convenient.
Electronic Recycling Pickup Service
For those who can’t make it to our Traverse City location, we offer a pickup service for E-waste items within a 35-mile radius of Traverse City, subject to a fee. To schedule a pickup, simply fill out the Schedule a Pickup Form on the Electronics Recycling page on our website.
Where To Recycle Electronics in Kaleva
If you prefer to recycle your old electronics at our Kaleva facility, you can find us at 14407 Industrial Dr., Kaleva, MI 49645, right in the heart of Manistee County. At our Kaleva location, we process and ship out E-waste. Feel free to drop off your electronics on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or make prior arrangements for a drop-off between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Old Electronics That Still Work: Where to Donate Electronics
In cases where your electronics are still in working condition and can be resold, you have the option to donate them to our Kaleva Resale Shop, following our Kaleva Donation Guidelines. Currently, we accept:
- Hard drives
- Cell phones
- RVs working flat screen with remote (no CRTs or analogs)
Repurpose Small Electronics: Give Them A Second Life
BARC is proud to partner with Earth Advantage, another local Traverse City-based business working diligently to reduce the impact of e-waste. Earth Advantage refurbishes small electronics like computers and cell phones, diverting them from becoming E-waste! Learn more about them and their process by visiting their website.
Your support in recycling old electronics with BARC is greatly appreciated. We are working hard to reduce Northern Michigan’s carbon footprint and repurposing e-waste materials with our electronics recycling program. In 2022, we diverted approximately 196,388 lbs of E-waste from landfills! We would like to increase this number in 2023. Please spread the word this holiday season and help us create a greener future!