Responsible E-waste Recycling
News + Events : Responsible E-waste Recycling
James Kao, CEO and President of GreenCitizen, spoke to SF State MBA students on February 22 about the electronic waste (e-waste) recycling industry.
GreenCitizen operates drop off locations and a pickup service throughout the Bay Area, collecting old computers, TVs, cell phones, and video/audio equipment for both businesses and residences.
While our increasingly digital society has led to tremendous gains in productivity, the ubiquity of electronics in our daily lives has also led to some serious consequences. As electronics continue to increase in power and decrease in cost, they frequently require updating, leading society to generate tremendous amounts of waste containing heavy metals, mercury, arsenic, and numerous other toxic chemicals. Without proper recycling, this e-waste gathers in landfills and leaches these chemicals into the ground and water.
There are numerous electronics recycling businesses around, but many do not exercise due diligence throughout their entire disposal process. For example, a consumer or business may drop off e-waste at a licensed recycler, but often that recycler’s oversight only lasts until it transports the e-waste to the next handler in the process. Much of the e-waste in the US ends up shipped overseas to reclaiming sites in developing countries without any environmental laws to protect those handling the e-waste.
James is proud of GreenCitizen’s recycling program, which recycles all its e-waste within the US, and thus ensuring all operations are held to strict environmental and health standards. In addition to proper recycling, GreenCitizen also operates a computer repair service to help customers get more life out of their electronics, to prevent unnecessary waste even before it starts.