A recent report by market intelligence firm Infiniti Research projected the global market for electronic scrap collection services will rise 14 percent between 2012 and 2016, Recycling International reported.
The jump in e-scrap collection is attributed to the growing number of collection initiatives enacted by governments across the globe. The U.S. has about 24 states that have established laws for e-scrap management and recycling. This collection of states with electronic waste recycling programs help to reduce the amount of total refuse in landfills by sending them to recycling facilities instead. Plants use material handling machinery to efficiently process these scraps before having the recovered material reused into other products.
An estimated 12 percent of electronic waste is recycled in the U.S. while the rest is shipped to other countries or remains in landfills, according to the Environmental Law & Policy Center.
Electronics recycling not only prevents the harmful chemicals contained in devices from spilling out in landfills, but also allows recycling facilities to collect and reuse precious minerals. The U.S Environmental Protection Agency said 35,000 pounds of copper and 75 pounds of gold could be gathered from one million recycled cell phones.
More scraps could mean more work for recycling facilities
Recycling organizations are urging consumers and businesses to ramp up their electronic waste recycling efforts to conserve the Earth's limited resources.
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) is one of the proponents of improved electronic waste recycling, according to Recycling International. The ISRI recently voiced its support for a new policy to allow the recycling industry to open computers and other devices that may have been disposed.
"Allowing electronics recyclers and refurbishers to unlock these devices will help encourage the reuse of used electronics products and thus avoid the unnecessary and wasteful disposal of these products in landfills," said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI, according to Recycling International.
To help increase electronic waste recycling, some experts believe younger generations are the key, Green Biz reported. With college students more likely to embrace sustainability initiatives, colleges across the nation have begun offering classes that address the problems associated with electronic waste, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
By helping young electronics users learn about the benefits of e-waste recycling, the growing global problem of devices languishing in landfills could be curbed. With more organizations working together to solve the electronics waste crisis, recycling facilities could expect to see more scraps, which might call for additional purchases of feeder conveyor equipment.