Green Tree Electronic Recycling: Leading the Fight Against Electronic Waste.

Electronic waste has been devastating our planet and health for decades. To date, an average of over one-hundred billion pounds of e-waste are generated each year. The United States is one of the largest contributors of e-waste, with the average United States’ citizen producing almost seventy pounds of e-waste annually. With only about one-eighth of all e-waste being properly recycled, the remaining e-waste is left to collect in junk yards or shipped overseas to rural areas of third world countries, where it is burned to scavenge the precious metals inside, like aluminum and gold. The scraps of burnt plastic are left to sit where they burned, never to be further deconstructed or recycled. This irresponsible mentality for e-waste disposal releases toxic fumes into the air, and allows lead, arsenic, and mercury to saturate into the groundwater and soil of nearby agriculture. In areas near these e-waste plants, there is a stark increase in both birth defects and cancer, with an extreme decline in the quality and quantity of crops produced. Green Tree Electronic Recycling, an ecology organization founded in 2011, is striving to Fight Against these careless actions by properly disposing of e-waste through recycling, repurposing, and revitalizing your donated electronics. Further, we at Green Tree Recycling are not content to simply reduce the amount of e-waste pollution generated, but are actively fighting to reverse this ecological destruction by planting a tree for every hundred pounds of e-waste collected, which will help combat the worldwide ramifications of generating e-waste and its improper disposal.

Air Quality Study

The amount of e-waste produced across the globe is not only staggering, but increasing. The organization StEP, Solving the E-waste Problem Initiative, is a collaboration of United Nations organizations, national governments, industry, and scientific communities around the globe, which predicts that our e-waste problem will transform into a nightmare on a very short time scale. E-waste is generated whenever an electronic item becomes discarded. From cellphones, to keyboards, to baby monitors, many pieces of technology that we use every day end up in landfills or e-waste facilities in parts of the world with minimal control or laws pertaining to health standards or standards of destruction for items holding important data, like hard drives. Not only do we at Green Tree Recycling safely and efficiently recycle your donated electronics, but we ensure that all data is successfully destroyed by following the Department of Defense’s recommendations and guidelines for properly destroying digital information. In addition to personal use electronics, e-waste is still generated on a large scale from factories, call centers, and even hospitals and schools. A fact of life in the modern age is that technology is important to many aspects of life, and as a result, e-waste will continue to mount and pile up in landfills and third world countries until we dispose of it properly worldwide.

E-waste does not only create an eyesore in the form of a pile of partially deconstructed electronics, left to wither away over thousands of years, but is a health and ecological disaster. Considering most e-waste is shipped overseas to third world countries, where there are very little laws pertaining to safety codes, labor, or waste management, these electronics are burned, often by children, who inhale toxic gas. The smoke generated from these e-waste sites lasts in the air for hours after the burning stops, where it continues to damage the lungs of the workers and nearby residents. These e-waste plants are often near sources of water or agricultural land, where toxins such as, but not limited to, PVC, arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium, beryllium, hexavalent chromium, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), settle in wells, rivers, and groundwater, making the water unsafe to drink, and also seep into the soil, where they hinder the health of crops and kill the microorganisms needed for plants, both natural and agricultural, to grow and develop correctly and healthily. In many farms near e-waste plants, the fruit and vegetables produced are covered in black spots from the smoke and have poor roots and production yield from the poisonous soil. Even small levels of toxins released into further away areas create long lasting problems. In regards to soil contamination from e-waste disposal, M.B. McBride, PhD, from the Department of Soil, Crop, and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University, noted that, “Long-term field observations (several decades) often show that sludge-applied metals can remain sufficiently available, even in nonacid soils when total metal concentrations are below the proposed EPA limits.” What this means is that the burning of e-waste, even within what is deemed as an “acceptable” amount, is not.  In addition to the aforementioned contaminants generating a large spike in cancer and birth defects, they are also linked to poor immune systems and diseases of the brain, kidneys, DNA, and liver, which only exasperate the problems presented by ailments not affiliated with e-waste. Not only is e-waste destructive to our planet and health in the long term, there are immediate consequences whenever a single electronic device is disposed of incorrectly. Additionally, when data storing items, such as hard drives and cellphones, are not properly deconstructed or refurbished, they become a target for data thieves. Even when destroyed, if not done so properly, damaged hard drives can still contain accessible sensitive data, such as credit card numbers or customer account information.

We at Green Tree Recycling find the current state of e-waste disposal to not only be sub-optimal, but catastrophic and reckless. In addition to properly recycling and repurposing electronics, Green Tree Recycling considers your privacy and security to be paramount. We make sure to reduce every hard drive to less than a one-inch piece and follow the Department of Defense’s standards regarding destruction of data storing devices. Further, Green Tree Recycling provides certificates to you to prove that every piece of donated electronic equipment is properly recycled or repurposed in a way that makes it impossible for any subsequent data thieves to retrieve your information.

Even small levels of toxins released into further away areas create long lasting problems.

M.B. McBride

PhD, The Department of Soil, Crop, & Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University

Green Tree Recycling also believes that repurposing and reusing our e-waste is a solution that not only protects against further ecological devastation, but allows our communities to benefit. Green Tree Recycling works to provide local schools and other nonprofit organizations with the electronics and technology they need. Working with our local schools, Green Tree Recycling is helping students gain access to the equipment and skills they will need later in life in this technology driven era.

Compounded onto all the horrid environmental and health effects of current improper e-waste disposal, the lax environmental and labor laws in these underdeveloped nations still does not turn much of a profit for the e-waste plants in those countries. Not only is the current system for e-waste disposal dangerous, it is not even worth the time spent. For a few scraps of aluminum and gold, we are allowing these overseas e-waste plants to produce monumental hazards for both the citizens of said country, and the world.

Green Tree Recycling views the community to be much more deserving of the profits from e-waste recycling. In addition to helping local schools, hospitals, and nonprofits to obtain the equipment they need, the proceeds from recycling e-waste that could not be repurposed goes towards helping fund local shelters and assisting schools in other areas needed, such as uniforms or educational and supportive programs for the students.

Here at Green Tree Recycling, we are driven to not only slow the harm of e-waste production, but stop it in its tracks. We only operate at the highest of standards ethically and environmentally at every step along the way. From our excellent customer service team to our meticulous efforts in recycling technologies and secure data destruction, Green Tree Recycling is making a stand against the horrid state of e-waste disposal in the modern day. The trees we plant for every hundred pounds of e-waste we collect help not just as an incentive to dispose of your electronics responsibly, but begin to start counteracting the polluted air from e-waste burning and other sources of unclean air. If last year, one percent of the over one-hundred billion pounds of e-waste generated, was instead disposed of properly and through Green Tree Electronic Recycling, that would not only be one billion less pounds of electronic waste and all of its ramifications, but also ten-million trees planted. Trees do not only absorb the pollutants to take them out of the air and ground, but in time, also completely break them down into non-harmful chemicals and compounds. Even with less than one percent of annual e-waste instead being repurposed, the trees planted in exchange would vastly reduce the amount of harm the remaining waste can generate.

You can help in the battle against this catastrophic global destruction by donating your electronic waste to Green Tree Recycling, or by calling to schedule a pick-up or assistance with liquidation. Join us at Green Tree Recycling in our Fight Against electronic waste by donating your damaged our outdated electronics today.