Electronics Recycling FAQs
What Items do We Accept?If you do not see the items you are looking to recycle, simply CONTACT US and ask about our products!
Alkaline Batteries – $.65 Per Lb
Fluorescent Bulbs – call for pricing
What is E-Waste?
The e-waste crisis introduction
Electronic equipment and gadgets are the fastest growing waste stream in many countries. For many, electronics are part of modern life – cell phones, laptops, TVs and a growing number of gadgets. Every year we buy new, updated equipment to support our needs -there are upwards of 300 million computers and one billion cell phones produced every year. All of these electronics become obsolete or unwanted, often within 2-3 years of purchase. This global mountain of waste is expected to continue growing 8% per year, indefinitely (BCC Research). (e-Stewardship: Taking Responsibility in the Digital Age…)
Why should we be concerned about old electronics?
Electronic waste isn’t just waste, it contains some very toxic substances, such as mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, beryllium and brominated flame retardants. When the latter are burned at low temperatures they create additional toxins, such as halogenated dioxins and furans – some of the most toxic substances known to humankind. The toxic materials in electronics can cause cancer, reproductive disorders, endocrine disruption, and many other health problems if this waste stream is not properly managed. Many of the toxic constituents are elements, which means they never disappear, even though they may change form. Other toxic chemicals in electronics do not break down over time and instead, accumulate in the food chain and biosphere. Not only do these toxins present risks to communities and the global ecosystem, but also to electronics recycling workers, even in developed countries.
But what happens to the e-waste?
Unfortunately, an incredibly small percentage of e-waste is recycled. Even when we take it to a recycling center it’s usually not actually recycled – not in the way most of us think of that term.
A small percentage of e-waste is estimated to be sent to recyclers. In the U.S., as little as 11%-14%. The remainder is most often dumped or burned – either in formal landfills and incinerators, or informally dumped or burned. These inappropriate disposal methods for electronic waste fail to reclaim valuable materials or manage the toxic materials safely. In effect, our soil, water and air are easily contaminated.
An estimated 70-80% of the e-waste that’s given to recyclers is exported to less developed countries. Once there, primitive technologies such as open air burning and riverside acid baths are used to extract a few materials. The rest of the toxic materials are usually dumped. Unlike other countries in the world, the U.S. sends a significant portion of its hazardous e-waste to U.S. prisons to process in less-regulated environments without the worker protections and rights afforded in the private sector. Moreover, such operations amount to government subsidies, undermining the development of responsible private-sector recycling infra-structure and distorting the economics of recycling.
Confidential data exposed to the world
When we give an old computer to a recycler, we are also giving them stored data, unless it has been ‘wiped’ of data. Most of the time, the hard drives aren’t secured, their information isn’t wiped – making it publicly available if in the wrong hands. In fact, in a recent study, everything from bank records to classified missile test results were found on a random sample of hard drives on eBay. The Ponemon Institute estimates that 70% of data breaches come from offline computers, usually after they have been disposed of by the equipment owner.
There is a solution!
E-waste has been a problem for years, but the explosive growth in our use of technology makes it a crisis today. It doesn’t have to be like this – we can do better. We’re not going to stop making and using high tech equipment but we can stop dumping e-waste on others and harming them and our shared environment. Article presented by www.e-stewards.org
What does Tech Valley Recycling do with the items I drop off?
The best form of recycling is reuse. Tech Valley Recycling makes every effort to reuse items in whole or for parts. If an item can’t be reused. Tech Valley Recycling employs people to disassemble items into parts, components, metal, plastic, wire and circuit boards. Many of these items go to secondary plants for the extraction of base and precious metals.
Do the items I drop off go into the landfills?No. Tech Valley Recycling has a policy of “No landfilling for electronics”. At Tech Valley Recycling our garbage/waste footprint is very small. We make every effort to recycle all we can. From paper and manuals, cardboard, shrink wrap, computer plastics, and much more…
What if I have personal data on my computer?Tech Valley Recycling can destroy the data on your computer for you.
- 1st by using a proprietary machine that uses a Department of Defense Standard for destroying your data’
- 2nd with Tech Valley Recycling’s newest piece of equipment the “Green Machine” Hard Drive shredder.
This machine shreds your hard drive into small pieces. Making it impossible to recover your data.
Does Tech Valley Recycling only recycle for businesses?
Tech Valley Recycling has a focus on electronics recycling for businesses, corporations and NY State agencies. We do accept a limited list of computer related items from consumers. For a complete list of our accepted residential items CLICK HERE. Contact our recycling center Monday through Friday between 9 am and 4 pm at 767 Pierce Rd in Clifton Park by calling 518-877-9800.
Is there any minimums?
No. We will accept a single item for recycling or hundreds at a time. We do ask for larger quantities, that you give us a call so we can be prepared to receive your items with no waiting or delay.