E-Waste Recycling Is a Complete Sham

Posted by HardOCP News 2:32 PM (CDT)

Tuesday September 20, 2016

It's pretty damn scary to think that almost forty percent of the electronics recyclers in the US fall into the scam recycling category. I knew things were bad, and we've all seen the images from overseas of massive piles of burning computer parts, but I didn't know it was this bad.

Real, environmentally sustainable electronics recycling can be profitable only if recycling companies charge a fee to take on old machines; the sale of recycled materials rarely if ever covers the actual cost of recycling in the United States. Companies, governments, and other organizations have a requirement to recycle old machines; because there is little oversight or enforcement, a secondary industry of fake recyclers has popped up to undercut sustainable recyclers. These "recyclers," which advertise themselves as green and sustainable, get paid pennies per pound to take in old TVs, computers, printers, and monitors. Rather than recycle them domestically, the recycling companies sell them to junkyards in developing nations, either through middlemen or directly.