Albert Boufarah of SAMR Inc. discusses the economic benefits of recycling electronic waste


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In the United States alone, more than 450 million home electronics and old, used computers can be recycled. In 2009, according to Albert Boufarah, CEO of electronics and laptop recycling company SAMR Inc., only 29% of these devices were recycled. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, “Computers and related equipment account for over 2% of all waste,” a percentage that will continue to rise as technology advances and the US population grows. This means that approximately 2,000 tonnes of electronic waste is disposed of each year (according to the EPA). Trends show that this number is growing rapidly as we continue to upgrade our technology.

Electronic waste is known to contain a variety of different metals such as cobalt, copper, gold, palladium, silver, and platinum. These materials are worth recycling because they are relatively environmentally friendly and can be reused for years due to their durability – they can be reused to make the next generation of computers and smartphones.

What is e-waste?

Electronic waste (e-waste) is a term used to describe obsolete electrical and battery-powered items. According to Albert Boufarah, CEO of computer recycling company SAMR Inc., it comes in many shapes and sizes ranging from everyday household items to large electronic systems like laptops and servers. The EPA states that there are five general categories of electronic waste: consumer electronics (e.g. computers and computer monitors), small office / home office equipment (e.g., scanners and copiers), power tools (e.g. chainsaws and floor pads), heating / cooling / plumbing equipment (e.g. radiators and water heaters) and lighting equipment (e.g. fluorescent lights and high intensity discharge lamps).

Of these categories, the most commonly recycled e-waste product is consumer electronics, which accounts for about 20% of the total e-waste created each year in the United States (US EPA). Computing devices are particularly important in this total, which can be attributed to the increase in Internet use in America over the past 20 years. With smartphones and laptops becoming more advanced and new models released every year, the number of electronic devices per household has grown by leaps and bounds.

What can be recovered from old electronic devices

So now that you have a better understanding of what makes up e-waste, let’s talk about how we can recycle it. According to computer recycling industry veteran Albert Boufarah of SAMR Inc., the first step is to take the device apart and break it down into its most basic components. Once this process is completed, old circuit boards and other items are sorted by category and possibly future use is determined for them, while all data on the hard drives is erased to DOD standards or physically destroyed. “Green metals” are notable for being easier to recycle because they contain a higher concentration of iron and steel. The demand for articles containing these metals has increased rapidly in recent years.

A recycler can then go further and sort these materials into specific batches that match the preferences of the manufacturer who will obtain them for reuse in new products. Finally, all the remaining parts are sorted by material type to be prepared for smelting and processing into new products, which reduces raw material costs and produces a cleaner environment, and conserves energy consumption during processing. creation (according to ITIF). The EPA says recycling one million laptops saves 730,000 gallons of oil, which is the equivalent of powering 60,000 homes for a year! This astonishing statistic shows how beneficial recycling electronic waste is from an economic and environmental point of view.

How e-waste recycling benefits the recycler’s local economy

According to Albert Boufarah of SAMR Electronic Waste Recyclers Inc., services like the ones they provide also contribute to the economic growth of surrounding areas in addition to the above. economic benefits.

The company that acquires recycled materials creates jobs by providing funds to increase staff levels or by directly hiring more employees. The influx of capital into the community increases demand for other types of local businesses, opening new stores on Main Street. The availability of recycled materials can increase innovation within Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), lower production costs and increase profits, thereby increasing hiring levels.

In addition, the increased demand for used materials means that a greater revenue stream is introduced into the recycling industry, allowing the expansion of this work to become a boon for the environment and the economy as a whole. .

Final thoughts

The economic benefits of recycling electronics are numerous and far-reaching. Many of these products are often priced 5-10 times lower than their newer counterparts, increasing demand for these types of products. This would not be possible without the dedicated work of experienced electronics recyclers like SAMR Inc. For more information on the services they offer, their website is just a click away.

SAMR Inc. is also HIPAA compliant and places great importance on the privacy of your sensitive data. Click here to learn more about their data destruction and hard drive shredding process.

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