Every day is Earth Day!
-waste is the fastest growing municipal waste stream in the US.
ll the technology manufactured today that supports the operational infrastructure of an organization, the technology that connects individuals to the world wide web, and the technology that controls the machines that help automate processes that control our world will ultimately be e-waste. If not managed properly, the same technology that has helped us to create a world of instant-on, innovation, and communication without geographic boundaries also has the potential to destroy our planet if we do not begin with the end in mind.
ecently the Electronics Takeback Coalition reported we generated 3.19 million tons of e‐waste in the U.S. Of this amount, only 600,000 tons or 17.7% was recycled, according to the EPA (up from 13.6% in 2008). The rest was trashed – in landfills or incinerators. According to a 2010 report from the United Nations University, global e-waste generation is growing to about 40 million tons a year. Other research indicates that the global volume of e-waste generated is expected to reach 93.5 million tons in 2016 from 41.5 million tons in 2011 at a CAGR of 17.6% from 2011 to 2016.
he fate of our planet rests in the responsible reduction, reuse, and recycling of technology in a way that is sustainable. By sustainable I mean in a manner which allows us to recapture the raw materials that make up the retired technology so that we stop mining for virgin materials upsetting the balance of our planet. This allows that which is e-waste to be transformed into a valuable commodity. This will eliminate the concerns around illegal and unregulated dumping of e-waste in developing countries, polluting our air and water.
ope is not lost, however. IT Asset Managers have the ability to create a big impact on the fight for the health of our planet – while doing their jobs in a way that saves money, reduces risks, and supports their communities long beyond the useful corporate life of the technology; the same technology that they use to support their infrastructures. This includes developing full lifecycle management strategies that produce beneficial measureable expected outcomes at end of life. Corporations and Individuals alike can reduce the amount of new technology that they purchase or find ways to extend the life through selling on a secondary market or donating to one of the many Serious Good programs available.
onating not only extends the life of technology, it helps to address the serious issues of the digital divide – supporting programs such as the Connect 2 Compete initiative led by the FCC.
s we approach Earth Day, we are interested in learning more about the role you play in the elimination of e-waste; whether in the job you perform or in your personal life. Please take a few minutes to complete our survey. Just like Smokey the Bear said … “you too can prevent forest fires…”
ou too can prevent e-waste. How are you doing it this Earth Day?