We recycle electronics — why does it matter?

Every year, Americans upgrade their computers, displays, servers, TV's, phones, and more, which leaves them with more than 2.2 million pounds of unwanted electronics. These contain several valuable or toxic elements, making electronics wasteful and hazardous to just incinerate or dump in a landfill along with your regular trash.

Naturally, almost every state has passed legislation controlling the disposal of electronics. In fact, , Connecticut made it illegal not to recycle e-waste.

By recycling, your unwanted electronics are broken down into raw materials, which are then reused. It's likely that your computer used to be a car door, or your printer is made of old cell phones.

Vectro ensures that every computer, CD, cord, and cable that we remove from your offices are either reused or recycled.

So what happens to them?

Recycled electronics are broken down to recover silicon, plastic, fiberglass, copper, aluminum, iron, zinc, silver, gold, and more. Once separated and melted down, these newly-raw materials are sent to manufacturers and used to make new products.

In addition, hazardous materials such as lead, sulfur, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, barium, BFR's, and more are recovered, and if they can't be reused, are sent to facilities that can ensure their safe and responsible disposal.

Who handles this e-waste?

Since , Connecticut municipalities have been legally required to accept e-waste. The state's e-waste recycling program is operated by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The DEEP has authorized several e-waste processing companies to handle the recycling process. Many of these companies process most or all of these items here in America, rather than dump it overseas — making this good for the environment and our local economy.

What about my storage media?

Destroyed hard drives If we cannot securely erase and reuse a hard drive or backup tape, then we physically destroy it before recycling it. On top of this, all e-waste processors are required by law to secure storage devices before they are shredded or smelted.