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  • Date: January 26, 2021
  • Category: give IT

How give IT. get IT. recycling keeps circuit boards, metals, plastics, and other tech out of landfills

At give IT. get IT., we’re as passionate about e-waste recycling and keeping tech out of landfills as we are about digital inclusion. From upgrading laptops to help a designer learn new skills to harvesting materials that can be used to make new products, we believe every piece of technology deserves a second chance at life.

Check out this example in our Waterville processing facility:

electromechanical waste

This is a box of electromechanical waste that our staff has removed from devices such as medical equipment and kitchen appliances. To you, it may look like a pile of junk. To us, it’s a box of potential that has no place in a landfill.

After we completely fill the box, we will ship it to one of our e-waste recycling partners who will shred it into smaller pieces and then send those pieces through an eddy current separation system. Using a combination of lasers, cameras, magnets and compressed air, these systems can separate reusable materials such as high end copper, light steel and stainless steel.

The detailed video below shows a lot of different ways our recycling partners break down, separate and reclaim reusable materials from the boxes of electromechanical waste we ship to them:

Once those materials are harvested, they can be reconstituted and used to make new products. As a matter of fact, most brand new washers and dryers today are made from 60-70% reconstituted metal. Thanks to e-waste recycling, that’s metal that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill. And every ounce of metal that goes into a new product is an ounce of metal that doesn’t have to be mined from the earth.

With the exception of copper and circuit boards containing precious metals which have high scrap value, most for-profit e-waste recycling companies don’t do this. After they salvage the copper and valuable circuit board, most of the remaining less valuable scrap is sent to the local landfill.

That’s not how we do things at give IT. get IT.

The rubber casings on the wires are the only materials in the photo above that can’t be recovered for new product manufacturing. By taking this extra step, we harvest more benefit from retired tech. After these products have served their initial purpose, we ensure the materials they were made of go on to be used in new products.

Thanks for taking the time to learn about our environmental values and how our recycling program diverts more than 600,000 pounds of electronics from the landfill every year.

If you have any questions about what you’ve read in this article, please email us at communications@itec3.org.

To learn how give IT. get IT. can keep your company’s retired technology out of the landfill, securely destroy all your company’s data and upgrade all reusable computers in support of our mission to promote digital inclusion, please contact us today!