The electronics market is experiencing rapid growth and consumers are replacing their electronics very frequently. According to the EPA, in 2009, “2.37 million tons of electronics were ready for end-of-life management.” It is important that all these electronics are properly recycled because they contain precious metals that could potentially be used to produce new electronics.
From an economic perspective, companies always seek to maximize their profits. As demand for precious minerals increases and mineral prices begin to seem unbearable, companies are looking for alternatives.
According to an article in Business Wire, “Major international corporations such as Waste Management (NYSE: WM), Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S), Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) and more are investing heavily in e-waste recycling as mineral prices soar worldwide.”
There are many environmental and public health concerns associated with mineral mining and electronic waste (e-waste). By shifting its focus from mineral mining to e-waste recycling, major companies are not only benefiting themselves, but also bringing awareness to the e-waste recycling industry and creating more green jobs. More importantly, this shift will help mitigate the growing e-waste problem and reduce the need for mineral mining.
It is great news that major companies are realizing the advantages of recycling and reusing e-waste and seeking an alternative supply source. Now it is up to consumers to do their part by recycling or reusing old electronics and raising awareness about e-waste recycling.
By Ying Yu Chen