When it comes to improper disposal of IT assets, most people’s first thought is of the risk of data breach.

After all, both businesses and individuals often store personal information on their computers. This information can inflict considerable damage on both individuals and entire brands.

For that reason, proper IT asset disposal is emphasized to reduce the risks of fraud, identity theft, or data breach.

But there’s another, less publicized reason for proper disposal of your IT assets. Keep reading to learn about the environmental hazards of improper waste disposal.

The E-Waste Issue

Electronic waste (“e-waste”) consists of computers, cell phones, televisions, and other electronic equipment. Electronics threaten the environment if not properly disposed of at the end of their useful lives.

Recycling facilities for this type of waste are becoming more common. But, the EPA estimates show that only 15 to 20% of e-waste is properly recycled. When you consider that the world generated 41.8 million tons of e-waste in 2014, you can start to understand the gravity of the issue.

Why Is E-Waste So Harmful?

Improperly disposed of electronic waste can have a devastating effect on the environment.

Many electronic items contain harmful substances and heavy metals. These include lead, mercury, cadmium, and flame retardants. These substances are detrimental to human health when they’re not disposed of in a proper way.

Lead and mercury are particularly harmful to humans, animals, and aquatic life.

Lead has adverse effects on the blood, kidney, and nervous system function. Mercury exposure can affect the nervous system function. It is especially dangerous to young children and developing fetuses.

As e-waste breaks down in a landfill over time, the toxic components seep into the ground. As they do, they pollute soil, contaminate groundwater, and release toxic chemicals.

The sheer amount of electronic waste also poses a space issue. We have finite areas in which to store waste, especially wastes like plastics that break down slowly.

Proper IT Asset Disposal

To avoid negative environmental effects, it’s vital to dispose of electronics in an appropriate manner. This includes office equipment, cell phones, computers, and TVs.

The best option is to give your old IT assets to organizations with Responsible Recycling (R2) and Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS) certification. These industry-standard certifications ensure that e-waste will be safely recycled or disposed of.

E-waste recycling companies with the proper certifications follow strict, rigorous procedures. Following safety standards, your waste will get erased, scrapped, sorted, broken down, and disposed of.

Let Cleanlites do the Recycling

Cleanlites, a nationwide, insured, R2/RIOS-certified company, is committed to safe IT asset disposal and recycling.

Our expert staff and industry-leading processes make certain that waste streams get disposed of in the proper way, every time. We’re led by our principles of brand security and environmental welfare. When you recycle with Cleanlites, not only is your information safe — so is the environment.

Do your part to protect both your brand and the environment from the hazards of e-waste. Contact us today for a quote.