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African Blood Money Also On the Hands of Electronics Makers

Recycling and e-waste go hand-in-hand. Electronics can be recycled just like anything else, but people aren’t often aware of the services that can do it for them. Orlando Recycles is one such company that recycles your old electronics. But, what about the sources of the computers? Where do the parts come from? Where do the minerals come from?

There are some parts of war-torn Africa where these minerals come from. New provisions in certain bills would make it necessary for companies to report on whether they had minerals that came from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Democratic Republic of Congo is one area of war-torn Africa where some minerals are mined at an especially high cost to lives in country. Though electronics manufacturers might not be entirely savvy to where all of their materials are coming from, some of their components are inadvertently diminishing the well-being of people thousands of miles away. Is African blood money on the hands of electronic manufacturers? That is a tough question that  is always being asked.

These minerals that go into our beloved electronic devices are sourced from areas of Africa where there is rampant warfare, prostitution, and fighting, all for the sake of getting these minerals mined. These are called conflict minerals. These locations are often times in Africa in recent days, but could arise from sources all over the world.  The same problem arises in the Middle East, but more commonly with petroleum. It is important for people to realize that there are companies that are taking steps to make sure that the conflict minerals are mined properly. These are companies that are taking steps to reduce their usage of conflict minerals, such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola. These companies are trying to make it better for people all over the world who mine these minerals.

At Orlando Recycles, we do our part in recycling and reusing e-waste so the production of completely new electronics is reduced and the necessity to go overseas isn’t as critical.  We offer free electronics pickup services in central Florida and also pay for a variety of different electronics.  Call us at (407)273-1395.


How is Europe Handling its Recycling in 2012? Part 2

With a focus on the creation of biodegradable plastics, an awareness program on the benefits of home-composting and the reuse of non-biodegradable waste, and proper environmentally safe incineration of electronic wastes and other non-biodegradable items. Europeans are well on their way to a better future as they have finally realized that there is profit in their waste. With many non-biodegradable items making up the bulk of recyclables, the majority of ecologically-aware companies have begun to brainstorm over how pyrolysis, thermolysis, and several other methods to recycle can not only help reduce waste, but to provide a steady source of employment and income for Europe’s growing population.

Europe has adapted in dealing with the myriad of e-waste that has come to saturate the whole of the Western world. Encouraging consumers to recycle has become a great way to make the best out of used electronic gadgets, without having to trash still potentially useful equipment. Whereas before, incinerating or simply dumping electronic-waste into landfills has been highly detrimental to the environment, donating still-functioning computers or recycled reusable spare parts has become the more profitable option for Europeans.

Europe’s efforts as a whole are noteworthy, and it can only be hoped that the rest of the world will follow Europe’s example and become more responsibly managing their waste. The reduce-reuse-recycle mantra of ecologists is the tune of the future, it is hoped that it will not fall on deaf ears.

We at Orlando Recycles are working here in central Florida to contribute to a sound recycling effort. If you work with or own a business that needs assistance disposing of obsolete equipment, contact us today.  We offer free electronics pickup services and also pay for a variety of different electronics.  Call us at (407)273-1395.

How is Europe Handling its Recycling in 2012? Part 1

Being one of the major capitals of industry and progress in the modern world, Europe has its fair share of waste to manage, and with the rise of electronics slowly taking over the majority of the products being produced commercially, there are a number of issues regarding how to reuse e-waste that needs to be addressed. While some in Europe have taken the lead in reclaiming or re-using waste, others are far behind by comparison.

Figures published by BBC reveals that 60% of EU household’s rubbish could be recycled, and that England appears to be behind the pack, as they only recycle 17% of their rubbish. Leading the European nations in efforts to recycle is Austria, they recycle more than 60% of their household waste while other EU countries fall somewhere in between, with an average of 25% to 30% of household waste being recycled.

Europe’s efforts to recycle

Home electronic appliances and especially automobiles have many materials that can and should be recycled, such as aluminum, copper, steel and plastic material to name just a few. Below is a list of ways Europe is handling its recycling efforts in 2012:

- Retailers are reclaiming old large appliances and shredding/reclaiming steel and plastic and re-using them in manufacturing new appliances.
- Electronic companies now recycle electronic components and rare earth materials from cell phones, TVs and other electronic household appliances and gadgets, and then recycle the parts to produce new products.
- Europeans are discovering the financial benefits of salvaging their old electronics gadgets and home appliances, as they cash in on selling these to retailers who are anxious to buy them.

As Europe’s efforts increase to recycle more, it is expected that reclaiming materials from waste will become a part of everyday life for all Europeans with great results. Effective, environmentally safe and economical waste management has become Europe’s main goal in the 2012 race for a cleaner, greener Earth. With literally thousands of tons of non-biodegradable and potentially environmentally hazardous waste being dumped into landfills or burned in incinerators since the early 80s, Europe has now taken a turn for the better. Read more in our next installment.

How is Africa Handing its Recycling in 2012? Part 2

With the advancement in technology in the western world and Africa, there has been a need to focus on a large scale salvaging. There are over 50 million tons of electronic wastes discarded yearly and a portion of the waste has been discarded  in underdeveloped countries such as Africa. In 1995, the Basel Action Network created a treaty to ban the export of Electronic Waste to developing countries. Even with this ban, Africa is still experiencing exports of potentially harmful material.

As a result, Africa has landfills with harmful materials , which places the environment and people at risk. Individuals that often salvage items at landfills may expose themselves to harmful materials such as lead and zinc. Throughout African cities discarded items such as cardboard, glass, metal have been salvaged to be taken to salvaging facilities where they are paid by the pound.

In addition, regulations are required to ensure safe waste management and monitoring are needed. The collection of waste is often processed informally without any regulation. To combat these problems there have been initiatives within Africa to focus on improving waste removal. A couple of examples include the salvaging of electronic products and repurposing.

The main sources of these changes are often small businesses that have found unique ways to create products from recycled material. To ensure the environment is protected long term initiative government participation is required.  This sentence is unclear   scale up the waste management services are needed as well as education on how to properly dispose products.

An example of a country taking steps to make changes is South Africa, the country is focused on increasing the amount of items that are recycled by its citizens. The government has taken a stance to reduce the amount of plastic, glass and paper discarded into landfills by 70%. The initiative includes educating the population on recycling as well as creating literature on the type of items that can be recycled. The campaign is managed by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs for a Cleaner South Africa.

We at Orlando Recycles are committed to providing services that prepare our community for the future of recycling and the critical preservation of our environment.  We offer free electronics pickup services and also pay for a variety of different electronics.  Call us at (407)273-1395.

How is Africa Handing its Recycling in 2012? Part 1

Recycling in Africa has a unique history and is closely linked to the ability of the people to repurpose waste and make it useful. In recent years, there has been a new initiative to remove waste from landfills and within populated areas to create a safer environment and reuse the recycled products. The main forms of salvaging in Africa are repurposing items and e-recycling. The initiative to recycle in Africa is a result of creating additional resources, removing environmentally harmful waste and earning an income. Even with the changes there are a few challenges that the continent currently faces.

Prior to the shift to salvaging plastic and e-waste, Africans have found unique ways to repurpose discarded items. In the hands of the right individuals, scrap metal can be transformed into a piece of art for sale. Aluminum is melted and reshaped into a pot for cooking. And rubber from tires have been melted and recreated into sandals. The repurposing of discarded material can be found throughout Africa as ways to earn income but also maintain a craft.

In 2009 Hewlett- Packard created an initiative to recycle Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment within Africa. The focus was to prevent the disposal of hazardous waste into landfills. The recycled electronics are dismantled and separated into various parts. The materials are shredded and separated based on metal composition and sold to plastic recyclers or companies that are able to reuse the metal. E-recycling is used to recycle e-waste that is increasing in countries such as Ghana, Kenya and South Africa as a consolidation business. Companies collect e-electronics from retail businesses, warehouses and individuals. Read more in our next installment.

The Death of the CRT Monitor and How it Still is Harming the Environment

The CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor is known to consume lots of electricity, leading to more carbon emissions being released into the environment inadvertently from crude oil productions. The CRT is becoming outdated by flat screen technology. CRT monitors are therefore disposed of to make way for more efficient technologies. The problem arises because cathode ray tubes require special methods of disposal that aren’t very common.

Cathode ray tubes contain toxic compounds such as lead on the inside of the glass barriers. When the screen of the monitor is damaged, there is a release of lead into the environment. Lead contributes to many different health concerns, while Barium is also another dangerous compound that is released when the disposed monitor is damaged. Barium is water soluble and therefore works its way into water. Barium also bio-accumulates in both plants and humans. The CRT monitors also contains other heavy toxic metals such as Phosphorous, Cadmium and Mercury.

The amount of lead that a cathode ray tube has in it should not be taken lightly. A 15 inch CRT monitor may contain almost 2 pounds of lead. It is very important that proper method of recycling is used instead of dumping the monitor in the trash or other inappropriate places.

There are companies that will exchange your old monitors for the latest flat screen technology at a discounted charge. Companies will also take back the CRT monitors at their shipping expense and issue customers a coupon.   If you’re looking for a place to dispose your old computer electronics and other old electronic products, bring them to Orlando Recycles for a safe and secure way of disposing of them.  Currently, Orlando Recycles is taking a limited number of CRTs (2 per family, businesses please contact us for limitations) at no charge but soon will have to charge to cover the cost of hazardous waste recycling.  Contact us at (407)273-1395.

How is China Handling its Recycling in 2012?

While developed countries such as the United States and Canada have been recycling for a long time, the country of China is just beginning to understand the importance of recycling. In May 2012 China is having its sixth International Recycling Conference and Exhibition in Beijing. This conference allows people from all over China and the world to meet and discuss new methods of recycling. Topics that will be discussed are the recycling of metal, such as steel, copper, and aluminum. Additional ways to recycle paper and plastic will also be discussed. In addition there will be exhibitions and information about emission control and solid waste management.

China already does a great job recycling aluminum cans, with an 85% recovery rate. This was achieved by government officials training the public the importance of recycling the cans. Neighborhoods actually have groups or teams that find cans and deliver them to recycling centers. Because it is difficult to find resources to manufacture new paper products, China has recycled paper for many years. People will often collect waste paper and carry large amounts of it on their bicycles to recycling centers.

China is trying to find new ways to recycle electronics, such as appliances, cell phones, and computers. Electronic waste is a major issue in China because often electronics and appliances which contain chemicals are not being disposed properly. Over two million tons of electronic waste is disposed each year in China. Rather than being broken down to reusable parts in a safe manner, it is taken to fields and just left. In other cases it is simply burned out in the open which is leading to dangerous chemicals being released into the air. Now Chinese officials are going to educate citizens to recycle electronic waste safely.

We at Orlando Recycles understand the critical importance of recycling e-waste and other materials correctly.  If you work or own a business that needs assistance disposing obsolete equipment, contact us today.  We offer free electronics pickup services and also pay for a variety of different electronics.  Call us at (407)273-1395.

How is Japan Handling its Recycling in 2012

Japan is leading the way into the holistic realm of recycling. They have developed a resource recovery system that exemplifies the whole system of recycling. They believe that waste should not be wasted but resold in order to generate new products such as appliances of all types and automobiles. Japan continues to improve on all systems in their country, including the system of holistic recycling. In the last 11 years Japan has recycled enough materials to manufacture over 90 jumbo jets, and over 150,000 automobiles have been manufactured through recycled and unclaimed aluminum, steel and copper materials. Japan is developing ways to recapture rear earth materials from electronics in order to produce new electronics from recycled parts.

How is Japan doing holistic recycling?

. Large appliances are taken to retailers to be disassembled and or shredded
. Japan lasers company logos on merchandise instead of pressing names from companies into the item ( this cuts recycling rates a great deal )
. Japan enacted a new law that places the burden of recycling on everyone from the manufacturer to the consumer and everyone in between
. A person can drop off their old appliances at a retail outlet or collection center, but they must purchase a recycling ticket to prove that any fees for recycling has been paid. Fees vary according to the appliance.
. Japan has an 85% recycling rate
. Recycling has provided at least a 10% profit and building revenue for research and development of ongoing newer practices.

There is one recycling plant in the U.S. that is following Japan’s lead in the holistic recycling arena. While many U.S. citizens have not jumped on the recycling band wagon like Japan has, maybe the United States will have enact a law also to ensure recycling becomes the responsibility of everyone.

At Orlando Recycles, we specialize in properly disposing e-waste and many other materials/forms of equipment.  Contact us today at (407)273-1395 to learn more.

Why is California’s Recycling Situation so Bad?

Electronic equipment such as computers, televisions, cell phones, and others items only make about 2% of all waste found in landfills in California. However electronics create more toxic waste than any other items placed in landfills. The toxic waste products from electronics include lead, mercury, cadmium, and radioactive isotopes. Initially California was a leader in electronic recycling. By the years 2004 to 2005 California had created a state-run electronic recycling program to deal with the massive amount of computers, televisions and other electronic equipment that were being placed in landfills.

Citizens were eager for the plan to work because of the concern over toxic waste leaking from the electronic trash. The state developed a plan to pay to collect computer monitors, televisions, and other items as an incentive for people to bring these items to recycling centers. What happened instead is that people outside the state of California often would bring their electronics to California to cash-in on the recycling money. The recycling centers cannot keep up the pace at recycling the additional electronic waste that is being brought in from outside the borders of California. Now there are even more mountains of electronics releasing their toxic waste in to the ground, water, and air of California. Citizens of California are outraged because they are paying out-of-state individuals and companies money to bring their electronic waste to California.

In addition, consumers in California pay a fee between $8.00 and $25.00 when making an electronic purchase to fund the recycling program. Despite California attempting to document that the electronic waste originates within the state, the amount of financial fraud has been rampant. Due to the huge amount of fraud occurring with the electronic waste recycling program, citizens are demanding that the program cease to exist.

Many forms of altruism can unfortunately be taken advantage of.  For keeping our efforts going in Florida, and here in Orlando, please consider recycling your business surplus with Orlando Recycles.  We can arrange for free pickups along with cash for some of your items.  Contact us today at (407)273-1395.

Why Do Consumers Still Throw Out Old Electronics?

The technological world has grown exponentially over the past 60 years. Consumers have willingly bought hundreds of millions (if not billions) of electronic devices during that time. From items that make life simpler and more convenient to items that make life more enjoyable, people have become enamored with the idea of new and more impressive devices coming along in the future. What most people do not think about is what to do with their old electronics when they have purchased a more modern, upscale replacement. The majority of people in the United States do not even realize there are preferable ways to dispose of outdated or unwanted electronics.

Recycling electronics is a very great way to get rid of items you no longer want. There are many different possibilities with the recycling of these used goods as some are cleaned up and resold while others are taken apart and their components reused. Any material or electronic that is not able to be resold or reused can be recycled in the traditional sense—breaking the item down and returning it to an earlier stage in the cyclic process.

There are two great benefits to recycling unwanted electronics:

  • It is literally saving the earth. As more and more electronics are being reused or recycled our landfills and environment as a whole become better off.
  • The person recycling can make a little extra money. Many places buy old computers, cell phones, TVs and other electronic devices from consumers and sell them to make a profit.

One of the main reasons consumers may not take the proper care required in recycling electronics is because they perceive it to be a hassle or inconvenience. In reality, recycling centers that are popping up around the world make recycling e-waste easy and fulfilling.

Orlando Recycles makes it easy for you to recycle your unwanted electronics right here in Orlando.  Business surplus, electronics, and other items from your office or company can be recycled effortlessly here.  Please call us today at (407)273-1395.

Orlando Recycles, Inc. : 5014 Forsyth Commerce Rd., Suite 4, Orlando, FL 32807 : 407-273-1395