How Businesses Can Help Solve the E-Waste Crisis

February 22, 2022 0 By Frankie Wallace

Life without our smartphones, laptops, televisions, tablets and other electronic devices is almost unimaginable. Not only would our personal lives be affected, but businesses would also sorely miss the advanced technologies they’ve grown accustomed to over the years.

There is a lot of conversation about reducing technology use because of its adverse effects on mental, physical, and emotional health. But also because of how bad technology can be for the environment when it isn’t disposed of properly.   

Not only are consumers responsible for managing their individual loads of E-waste, but businesses are responsible for ensuring they dispose of E-waste safely, too. 

To be more environmentally-conscious, businesses must look at how they’re getting rid of technology and tools they’re no longer using, whether broken, outdated, or otherwise. 

Let’s explore how businesses can help solve the E-waste crisis.

Help Solve E-Waste Crisis

Learn About the E-Waste Crisis 

First, to solve the E-waste crisis, you must know all about it. When you educate yourself and your team on the E-waste crisis, you’ll have a better understanding of its adverse effects on our planet’s health. 

You’ll also learn what people are doing to end the E-waste crisis and, hopefully, develop ideas you can implement in your own business to participate in the movement. 

Explore the following questions to pick up as much knowledge as you can about the E-waste crisis: 

  • What is E-waste?
  • When did the E-waste crisis emerge?
  • What are people doing to manage their E-waste?
  • What role do businesses play in the E-waste crisis?
  • Where does E-waste fit into the overall sustainability movement?
  • How do you determine when it’s time to get rid of an electronic device?
  • How can you recycle electronic devices? What about repairing them?
  • How can you reuse technological tools?
  • What sustainability experts are worth following? 
  • What E-waste specialists are most notable?

Next, use technology that enhances sustainability.

Use Technology That Enhances Sustainability 

Businesses aren’t planning to eliminate their use of technology any time soon. Nor should they want to. Technology has proven benefits in any industry, including:

  • Streamlining workflows and inventory management  
  • Supporting business efficiency with cloud-based inventory
  • Using artificial intelligence and robotics to revolutionize warehouse processes 
  • Equipping your team with mobile printers, scanners, and other diagnostic tools 

These new technologies better not just your internal operation, but they enhance sustainability as well by reducing emissions, increasing energy efficiency, and lessening waste. 

Still, not disposing of these electronics and technologies properly once they break down will only hurt the environment. So, be sure that just as the device supports your business’s sustainability efforts while active, it also does so in its afterlife with proper disposal. 

Furthermore, it’s crucial you carefully consider any technology purchases you make for your business. 

Carefully Consider Technology Purchases 

Choosing what technology you purchase is just as crucial as determining when to buy technology for your business. 

It’s imperative to carefully consider when and why you make technology purchases so that you aren’t accumulating tools and devices that end up in your E-waste pile because you don’t use them.

Answering the following questions can ensure the purchase is necessary to keep your business and team operating efficiently: 

  • Can my business afford this purchase?
  • Will this device meet the needs of my team?
  • How long is the device expected to last? Will it scale with my business?
  • How long will each individual on my team take to learn this new device? 
  • What would the disposal process look like if I did have to get rid of this device?
  • Does it have all of the functions and features necessary for this particular process in my business?

Businesses can also help solve the E-waste crisis by reusing or recycling old technological tools.  

Reuse or Recycle Electronic Devices  

Many businesses go straight to throwing away old electronic devices and broken tech tools. However, reusing and recycling these devices is a much better choice. You can strip technological devices for parts, and, in a lot of cases, entire devices can be refurbished and reused. 

As noted, “only 20% of e-waste is properly disposed of. That leaves the roughly 80% that remains to sit in landfills and pollute the environment with toxic chemicals.” By implementing a solid recycling routine for their E-waste, businesses can significantly reduce their carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, and overall waste. 

Find a reputable recycling company specializing in recycling old or broken electronic devices. Also, enlist the help of an IT specialist to wipe any devices you plan to recycle of any sensitive data and confidential business information beforehand to mitigate any data risks. 

In addition to reusing or recycling old electronics, you can repair and donate old devices. 

Repair or Donate Old Devices 

If you can’t find ways to reuse or recycle broken electronic devices, repairing and/or donating them may be a good alternative. Repairing broken electronic devices and reusing them in your business is an excellent budget-friendly option for managing your business’s E-waste. You could also fix the devices and donate them or simply donate parts from your broken devices to those who need or want them. 

Conclusion 

There are so many benefits to running a sustainable business. You can start your sustainability journey by getting involved in solving the E-waste crisis. Implement one, some, or all of the above tips to manage your E-waste and contribute to a cleaner, healthier, thriving environment.