Offers for free electronic recycling should be regarded suspiciously. The sheer supply of e-waste coupled with the recyclers’ costs for labor, transportation, warehousing, and destruction leave no money in the deal. And businesses that don’t make money aren’t in business very long.
The True Cost of “Free” Electronic Recycling
For example, some electronic recyclers offer to take computers for free because they are making money unethically and illegally—sometimes selling them “as is” with all your personal data intact. In the instance of recycling TVs, no cost recyclers are dumping them in landfills or shipping them illegally overseas.
Reputable electronic recycling companies provide their customers with certificates of proper data destruction and certificates of electronic equipment disposal (adhering to all local and state regulations as well as EPA standards).
Improper disposal may seem like a good deal today—until your items (and maybe even your data) end up in the wrong hands. Careless recycling practices could exposure your personal information and can be traced back to you or divulge confidential information. Invest the time and effort to make sure you are working with a reputable electronic recycler and you will mitigate your exposure and liability in the long run.