Recycling Equipment and Mandated Laws
Only about 12.5% of e-waste is currently recycled, so where does all of our old equipment go? The answer to that question is landfills. Responsible recycling equipment is a vital part of being a business owner, as well as a responsible citizen. Currently, about 2% of American’s trash in landfills is e-waste. However, it equals 70% of overall toxic waste.
Electronic equipment contains components that have a variety of toxic materials such as lead, zinc, nickel, barium, chromium, and more. When e-waste is warmed up, these toxic chemicals are released into the air, soil, and water which is dangerous to us as well as wildlife.
Mandates and Laws
Currently, the United States does not have a nationwide regulation when it comes to recycling. However, many state and local governments have enforced their own waste and recycling mandates that all commercial businesses must follow.
As a business owner, you must understand these regulations and comply with them. Otherwise, you could face hefty fines for not responsibly recycling old equipment that you use. Regulations surrounding recycling aim to accomplish two things:
- Improve the amount of waste that is being recycled.
- Decrease the amount of waste that goes to landfills.
The 1965 Solid Waste Disposal Act provided the EPA with the authority to oversee waste management and recycling, as well as provide basic recycling guidelines for each state to adopt.
While the laws remain the same, many state and local governments are enforcing their own waste and recycling regulations. These include mandatory recycling laws, landfill bands, e-waste laws, and much more. Every business is required to know the regulations in their region and follow them.
Landfill bans have created a list of specific items that are illegal to dispose of in a landfill. 49 states currently have landfill bans for items that cause harm to the environment, including batteries, untreated medical waste, computers, and more. Below you will find a list of the most common items that are ban.
Mandatory State Recycling Laws
Are you aware of your state’s regulations when it comes to recycling equipment and other e-waste? According to NERC, 27 states have mandatory recycling requirements. See the map below.
There are a variety of items that have been ban including batteries, computers, newspapers, glass containers, aluminum cans, and cardboard. If there is no mandate at the state level where you live, there may be local laws that you have to comply with. You will want to visit your local government’s website to find out what recycling requirements that are in effect in your area.
Mandatory Commercial Recycling
This is the portion where recycling equipment comes into play. Mandated recycling laws may seem a bit strict, but if you think about the bigger picture, they are put into place to help us all. More and more local governments are going green and mandating commercial business recycling.
States such as California require any business that generates more than 4 cubic yards of solid waste a week to recycle. Seattle mandated commercial recycling which requires all businesses to separate paper, cardboard, glass plastic bottles, and aluminum cans.
Most businesses generate a lot of recyclable materials, and mandating commercial recycling does not call for a huge organizational change. Any additional resources that are provided by the local government will help businesses recycle more and help them reach their sustainable goals.
Mandatory E-Waste Laws
Currently, 25 states have adopted a statewide e-waste program. California was one of the first states on the list. Their electronic waste recycling program is known as the Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003.
This Act put in place a funding system for collecting and recycling specific electronic items. 24 states followed in California’s footsteps, which includes Minnesota, Oregon, Connecticut, and North Carolina.
If you happen to live in one of the 22 states that do not have a mandated e-cycling law, your business can still jump on board and set the standards high by responsibly disposing of your electronic equipment.
Various places will offer the collection of unwanted electronic devices, which include TVs, computers, batteries, and other items. You can check out your EPA’s resources to find out the best place to recycle your e-waste.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
While the RCRA created the framework for recycling guidelines, they have provided the EPA with the authority to work with the federal and state government to ensure all hazardous waste is managed in compliance with statutes and regulations.
This act provides businesses with the guidance they need to dispose of electronic waste safely. If your business generates hazardous material then you will work with an inspector to determine the best way to dispose of the waste. To learn more visit the EPA’s RCRA overview.
Pollution Prevention Act
This act is a federal law that prevents and reduces pollution at its source by recycling everything that cannot be reduced at the source. The Pollution Prevention Act requires the EPA to provide recommendations to Congress to help eliminate the barriers to source reduction with the use of incentives and disincentives. It also calls for them to make specific technical assistance available to those that are looking for ways to reduce. You can learn more about this Act by visiting here.
How Can Recycling Help Benefit Your Business?
Armed with the right resources and information, business owners can greatly benefit from recycling. Recycling can help save money, as it is much more expensive to haul your old equipment to a landfill. In addition, recycling will help decrease the size of waste containers that you are using, as well as the frequent pick-ups that need to occur. It never hurts to go green, as this is something that will go a long way with your customers.
Working With A Professional Recycling Company
There are many business regulations that you have to keep up with as the owner of a business. If you are looking for a streamlined way to handle your recycling then you should work with a professional recycling company.
All Green Electronics Recycling
All Green offers a number of services that can help you reduce the clutter in your office space, comply with state and local regulations, as well as help keep your sensitive material protected.
Our list of services includes:
We offer a streamlined process that includes our curbside pickup of your office equipment or our paper shredding service. No job is too big or small for us. If you are looking for a professional team who knows the laws in your area, give us a call. Our staff would be happy to handle all of your recycling equipment needs while complying with any mandates that are put in place by state and local governments.