America Recycles Day actually began as a Texas Recycling campaign, when two employees of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality decided to celebrate Texas Recycles Day with the intention of encouraging more people to reduce waste. Since then, the holiday has been nationalized and now there are over 3,000 events throughout the country. Thanks in part to America Recycles Day events, recycling has increased from 7 percent in the 1960s to 32 percent today.
Recycling might be the most beneficial way to dispose of many materials. But for electronic waste (e-waste) recycling is only part of the solution. CircleIT, an IT Asset Disposition company, has identified that the solution to mitigate the accelerating e-waste crisis can’t just be efficient recycling centers or abundant access to e-waste recycling, but needs to include repurposing. Heather Loebner, Vice President, Sustainability, CircleIT remarks, “Repurposing allows electronics to have extended lifespans that can address community and social needs. We also repurpose parts as part of our circular economy principles, all of which combats improper disposal – or what we have all done – leave our old electronics to get dusty in the closet.” It is estimated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) that 112,000 laptops are disposed of every day when 70 percent of those laptops could be repurposed. CircleIT wants to ensure that those laptops and other discarded devices are given a second life.
By focusing on repurposing devices over recycling, CircleIT reduces carbon emissions and the natural resource consumption necessary to replace that device on the market. The United Nations 2020 Global E-Waste Monitor projects that by 2030 annual electronic waste will reach 74 million Metric Tons (MMT), an increase from 53.6 MMT in 2019, making e-waste the world’s fastest-growing domestic waste stream. And in the U.S., despite only accounting for 2% of the waste stream, e-waste is responsible for 70% of toxic waste in landfills.
While many in the ITAD industry may still seek solutions that return the most immediate profits, which could include recycling over repurposing, CircleIT has partnered with clients focused on the value of repurposing and incorporating circular economy principles to advance an enterprises’ environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. Companies that choose to repurpose their devices find a value proposition that supports reduction of scope 3 emissions.
Repurposing over recycling isn’t just for corporations. Everyday consumers concerned about their carbon footprint or the mountain of old, slow, and broken electronics accumulating in their closets can also protect their data and give their electronics a new life by “circling their devices” using CircleIT’s easy to use digital solution. All consumers have to do is click on CircleIT’s circle my device online process to start.
CircleIT celebrates today as an important benchmark illustrating the advances that have been made in thinking holistically about what happens to used products. Whether recycling or repurposing waste, CircleIT calls on people and businesses from all walks of life to consider repurposing their electronics this American Recycles Day. By visiting CircleIT.us you can learn more about how repurposing reduces electronic waste and also use CircleIT’s digital solution to responsibly dispose of your own electronic waste.