Fighting E-Waste

As I’ve mentioned repeatedly, this is going to be the first year where environmentally “green” marketing is going to be essential in the consumer electronics market. One end is the production and use part of the product lifecycle, so “friendly” materials and lower energy consumption will be important. But the other end of the lifecycle is also important; getting rid of the products when they’re no longer wanted.

A huge electronics recycling industry is growing in this country and around the world. Many communities are offering recycling events where you can bring your electronics for disposal. One good example is a recent event at Cal State University, Bakersfield, which netted more than 90,000 pounds of televisions, monitors, computers, cell phones, and other electronics. What’s more, the event earned the university $9,300 in the bargain.

If you have electronics equipment that you no longer want, please don’t just send it to the landfill. Check with your community for recycling events, and if there isn’t one, consider trying to help get one off the ground. You can find out about local events and recycling companies at a Web site published by the Electronic Industries Alliance , a national trade organization of U.S. manufacturers. You may also be able to donate working equipment to charitable services such as Goodwill Industries or other non-profit thrift shops.

The Environmental Protection Agency has a free booklet to download that has more information about e-waste and various companies that will accept electronics for recycling.