Isn't technology great? The moment you plunk down that final payment on a set of LCD monitors for the office, they’re obsolete. Something newer, better, faster and greener is already on the market, rendering your “latest gadget” little more than a collection of processed materials waiting to fill some landfill site with toxins.
At least the second part of this conundrum can be prevented, however: The hazardous disposal of unwanted office equipment. Packed with non-biodegradable yet recyclable components such as plastics, precious metals, glass and hazardous materials, those antiquated photocopiers, printers and towers are still valuable — if not to commerce, then to the preservation of of our planet.
Such is the inspiration of iRecycle Computers, a Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) collection company founded in 2006 by Information Technology specialist Laurent Ho. Determined to make a positive impact in the community and the environment, iRecycle Computers takes care of yesterday’s unwanted Devices Of Tomorrow.
“iRecycle Computers (iRC) is committed to promoting and providing recycling solutions for computer-related goods by ensuring the equipment is diverted from landfills,” Ho asserts.
“Instead, it is recycled in an environmentally sound manner that minimizes impact on both human health and the environment.”
With a nominal fee levied to cover collection, loading, packaging and servicing of materials, iRC offers both long-term and temporary acquisition options to commercial, retail, residential and public participators wanting to be greener: either a subtle, fixed accumulation point dubbed the Inorganic Market Collection Container or pre-arranged one-time drop-off events.
On an ecological level, Ho points out iRC’s importance based on the various levels of recoverable materials us average desk jockeys overlook: Lead and glass from monitors which can be smelted, recoverable plastics that are shredded into pellets/sold to create new plastic and recoverable electronics commodities including gold, nickel, copper, coltan, silver, aluminum, steel and more. Each piece of machinery is sorted depending on recovery value and hazard level ranging from Green (high recovery, little hazard) to Yellow (intermediate) and Red (low recovery, high hazards).
While not all elements are fully recovered, iRecycle provides an alternative to complete waste with minimal effort put forth by participating companies. As Ho sees it, by getting in touch with iRecycle, they’re already ahead of the game. Not only does our environment benefit. but participants have greener tendencies, essentially epitomizing the idea of, “one man’s junk being another man’s treasure.”
“A business is being responsible when using our services,” he asserts. “They just need to have the equipment ready for collection (and) the iRecycle Colour Zone sorting system is what differentiates iRecycle from other companies. The sorting system is an education piece to show that not all the materials are the same. By separating the items according to hazard level, people are simultaneously learning and recycling.”