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Pull the Plug on Electronic Waste Dumping -- A Major Headache for Office Buildings
By Wendy Andelson

Did you know that electronic waste, or e-waste, is responsible for 70% of the toxic waste in our landfills? Schedule an e-waste Round-up through ANDELSON+PARTNERS for your building to help your tenants and help the environment.

E-waste refers to electronic equipment, working or non-working, that is being discarded. E-waste is not just computer monitors and computers. It includes TVs, DVD players, laptops, mobile phones, and MP3 players, even your old microwave and toaster at home. Anything that uses an electronic current is considered e-waste. As electronic technology advances, consumers are replacing their older, outdated equipment more frequently with improved and updated devices. Of the millions of electronics purchased every year by Americans, only a fraction is actually recycled.

The mercury and lead from e-waste, when dumped in landfills, can contaminate our drinking water, soil, and air. California lawmakers recognized the huge threat it poses to our environment and took action to pass the first comprehensive electronic waste recycling legislation. The Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003 was signed into law and bans all e-waste from entering landfills in the State. The bill requires that all materials must be taken to a California Certified Collection and Recycling facility where the material will be handled in strict compliance with environmental regulations. Presently, California is one of only eleven states that have passed e-waste legislation. What this means to businesses, property owners, and property management is that e-waste must now be collected and recycled separately from regular trash or recycling. Like hazardous waste, it is illegal to include electronics in with regular waste.

This year in particular, homes and offices across the country will be throwing out their old antenna televisions for newer models as the FCC puts into place the National Digital TV Transition. In the U.S., with 280 million antenna televisions in use, we can expect that a staggering 28 million of them will be headed for our landfills this year. Furthermore, as companies downsize, unused equipment will become a major burden. Rather than trashing this equipment, e-waste can be salvaged for valuable metals, plastics and other materials that can be reused to manufacture new products.

Currently, there is no federal legislation regulating e-waste recycling. As a consequence of this unregulation, e-waste has become the fastest growing and most harmful problem in America’s municipal solid waste stream.

How should you recycle electronic waste at your office?

On average, tenants in a seven-story building will produce anywhere from six to twelve tons of e-waste every year. Much of the e-waste is left in loading docks, near freight elevators, or in trash dumpsters. It is difficult and expensive to find companies that will pick up one or two computers at a time. It is difficult to work directly with e-waste vendors who do not understand the needs of a big company or office building. Additionally, many “mom and pop” recycling companies have cropped up in the last few years to serve this growing demand, but many do not recycle the e-waste properly or legally. They do not protect the company’s confidential data nor do they have the insurance to protect the building from liability.

ANDELSON+PARTNERS, Inc. can select a legitimate certified recycler so you can feel confident that your e-waste is being disposed of legally and responsibly. They will help you coordinate, promote, and host e-waste collection events for your building. They have the expertise to provide the necessary informational pamphlets and fliers to publicize the event and provide important on-site supervision on the day of the pickup. They provide a Certificate of Insurance for liability, a Certificate of Destruction to prove all equipment was destroyed, and after the event they can provide a report showing how much e-waste has been recycled. ANDELSON+PARTNERS makes it easy to properly recycle your e-waste.

The environment can’t wait.

WENDY ANDELSON, President of ANDELSON+PARTNERS, Inc., an environmental consulting firm, has your “green” solutions to everyday business waste. ANDELSON+PARTNERS researched the market to find the highest quality, environmentally- friendly products at the most competitive prices. ANDELSON+PARTNERS is committed to assisting businesses implement recycling and environmental programs that reduce costs and increase sustainability. Visit www.AndelsonConsulting.com for more information.

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