We just celebrated Earth Day on April 22nd, and every year it’s a great reminder for us all (individuals and businesses alike) to take stock of the ways we can do our part to care for this planet we call home. But here at Repowered, that’s something we think about 24/7.
The UN’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020 reported that 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste was generated worldwide in 2019. As the world’s fastest-growing waste stream, it’s expected that by 2030 the world will generate 74.7 million metric tons of e-waste per year.
And unfortunately, less than 20% of that e-waste is documented, collected, and recycled.
Repowered is working to change that.
Electronics recycling is an important part of caring for the Earth every day of the year. Here are just four ways the work we do at Repowered makes a difference for our planet.
Net Negative Carbon Footprint
Repowered has a net negative carbon footprint. Yes, you read that right: not net zero, net negative.
That means our recycling and reuse activities mitigate more greenhouse gasses than we use to transport our material and employees, keep our buildings and processes running, and so on. After accounting for all our emissions, we still mitigate around 4,700 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year. This is on par with removing almost 1000 fossil-fuel-powered vehicles from the road each year!
Keeping Toxic Elements Out of Landfills
When e-waste (discarded electronic devices like computers, cell phones, TVs, and so on) is tossed in landfills, it doesn’t simply decompose and disappear. It sticks around for the long term, and can have devastating effects on our environment.
This is because e-waste contains toxic components like mercury, lead, cadmium, PVC plastics, barium, lithium, and polyvinyl chloride. In a landfill, these toxic substances end up leaching into the soil and groundwater, and from there make their way into streams, rivers, and lakes. In large enough volumes, these toxins pose a significant threat to the environment and to the health of humans and animals alike.
As a certified electronics recycler, Repowered helps keep these toxic substances out of landfills and out of our soil, water, and air.
Conserving Valuable Resources and Reducing the Need for Mining
Dumping e-waste in landfills isn’t only bad for the environment—it’s also a waste of valuable resources.
The electronics we use every day are made of a mix of high-value elements like gold, silver, copper, platinum, silicon, lithium, and cobalt…all of which can be reclaimed and reused to manufacture other products. What’s more, some of these materials are in short supply, such as cobalt, a vital component of lithium batteries.
Plus, mining these materials has a huge negative impact on the environment. Reclaiming them from e-waste through electronics recycling helps reduce the need for continued mining of these metals and core minerals.
Contributing to a Circular Economy
A circular economy involves repairing, reusing, or recycling products to extend their lifecycle. And that’s exactly what we do with electronics here at Repowered!
A circular approach to technology has the potential to conserve a vast amount of resources, extend the lives of useful products, and prevent waste.
Many electronics that end up in landfills still have some life left in them—they’ve just been replaced with newer models. And, as we mentioned above, the ones that are no longer useful still have valuable materials in them that can be reused. Refurbishing or recycling these electronics simply makes more sense than tossing them in a landfill.
Plus, when you keep a device in circulation longer, it reduces the need for new devices to be manufactured, which results in:
- Lower CO2 emissions
- Fewer raw materials used
- Big energy savings
For example, as much as 70-80% of the emissions a laptop is responsible for throughout its lifecycle comes from the manufacturing process. Keeping those machines in circulation longer means significant emissions reductions.
According to AASHE, “Even a one-year product life extension has a substantial impact. Keeping notebook computers in use for five years instead of four reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 64.9 kg carbon dioxide equivalent per notebook, or 17.4 percent.”
When you recycle your e-waste or buy refurbished computers or other electronics from Repowered, you help remove those devices from the global e-waste stream, giving them a second life.
Repowered Makes Electronics Recycling Easy
Our goal at Repowered is to make electronics recycling easier and more accessible so that more e-waste is recycled and less ends up in our landfills. This makes it easier for individuals and businesses alike to do their part to slow the growing e-waste problem.
So, if you have used electronics you no longer need, bring them to us! We offer two drop-off locations for the general public (in St. Paul and Golden Valley), plus onsite pickup services for businesses.
Once you drop off your electronics or have them picked up, your job is done—we’ll take care of the rest. First, we’ll ensure any data on your devices is securely destroyed. Then, we’ll refurbish the device where possible, or recycle it using environmentally sound practices.
Celebrate Earth Day everyday by learning more about our certified recycling services here, and give us a call at 612-294-8680 with any questions.