How and Why Your Business Should Recycle Computers

If your small business has any old computers lying around, you might be at a loss about how to dispose of them properly. Recycling tech isn't always as easy as recycling things like paper and aluminum. But it's just as important.

Computers, including desktops, monitors, laptops and other components, contain materials that can be extremely harmful to the environment. And there are plenty of potential benefits for businesses that choose to recycle. Here's more on how and why your small business should recycle its computers.

Savings on New Purchases

There are a few different ways you can recycle computers. But one of the most attractive options for businesses is to trade in old devices with the manufacturer or a retail store when purchasing new ones.

In this case, you can potentially even save some money on your new computer purchases if the old computers are in decent shape. For example, Staples allows you to trade in old tech devices in stores or even send them in by mail. Apple, Dell, Best Buy and more also have similar programs.

The price you get back depends on the condition and type of each device. But in most cases, getting some money back is better than nothing, especially for businesses making expensive new tech purchases.

Access to Refurbished Goods

There are so many tech innovations and improvements making their way into computers on a regular basis. But a lot of the main components used in building those computers remain roughly the same.

So when you recycle computers, you provide raw materials that manufacturers can then use to make refurbished models or even new devices that just use some of those rough materials or recycled components. This can lead to some more affordable options on the market.

Reduced Harmful Waste

When you dispose of computers instead of recycling them, it can do a lot of harm to the environment. Electronic waste is generally dumped into landfills or incinerated. And since computers contain heavy metals like lead and carcinogens, those materials can be extremely detrimental to the air, land, waterways and the environment as a whole.

How to Recycle Computers

Aside from taking your computers to a retail trade-in program or sending them into a manufacturer, you have a few options for recycling computers. You can check with your local recycling center to make sure they accept devices like computers. You can also contact other local computer shops or refurbishing centers to see if they accept devices, even if you don't plan on making new purchases.

Whichever route you decide to take, your computers can do a lot of good when you choose to recycle them. And the materials in them can do a lot of harm to the environment if you just throw them away. So taking the time to trade in or recycle your old computers and other tech devices can be a win-win for your business and the planet.

INFOGRAPHIC: The e-waste problem and how to help

Think of all the electronics in your life: your phone, tv, computer, game systems, USB drives, printers, Blu ray players, even smart devices like switches and home assistants. Now try to picture what happens to all of those things when they die. Over 50 million tons of e-waste are generated every year, and e-waste is nasty stuff. This infographic shows where e-waste ends up, which devices are the biggest culprits and how you can fight the e-waste problem.


HP Inc. Challenges Tech Industry to Come Clean About Electronics Recycling

According to environmental non-profit Basel Action Network (BAN), electronics recycling may not be quite as straightforward as consumers believe. While some electronics are safely dismantled and have their components scrapped or re-used, the recycling process consists of a complex, multi-step supply chain that ends in the developing world, where e-waste is often exported for treatment and oversight is minimal.

BAN indicates that unsafe environmental and labor conditions are common and have a devastating impact on the countries receiving electronics recyclables. Increased transparency, however, could offer a potential solution - and HP Inc. is ready to rise to the challenge.


Peru's Silver Production Surged Early In 2016, Then Suffered Double-Digit Decline in December

Peru started off 2016 with a bang by increasing silver production 14% in the first three months of the year:

The mining production figures in the table (Source: Peru Ministry of Energy & Mines), shows that Peru's silver production in March increased 10% versus the previous year and nearly 14% in the first three months compared to the same period in 2015.

However, during the last quarter of 2016, Peru's silver production started to level off and then declined in November. For example, Peru's silver production declined 2% in November versus the same month last year and even lower by 11% in December:

The highlighted red area shows Peru's silver production declined 11.38% in December versus the same month in 2015, while overall production increased 6.65%. What is interesting to see here is that Peru's strong percentage gain in silver production in the first half of 2016 was cut in half as production leveled off and then declined in November and December versus the same two months in 2015.

According to the data put out by Peru's Ministry of Energy and Mines, the country's silver production will increase from 4,102 metric tons (mt) in 2015 to 4,374 mt in 2016. This is an increase in silver production from 132 million oz (Moz) in 2015 to 141 Moz in 2016.

However, this big surge in Peru's silver production may peak and decline as mining investment has declined significantly over the past three years. When the spot price of all metals were reaching new highs 2011-2013, mining investment in Peru surged to a record high of $9.9 billion in 2013:

Unfortunately, as the commodity and metal prices declined sharply after 2013, investment in Peru's mining industry plummeted. As we can see, Peru's mining investment fell 57% in 2016 versus its peak in 2013... and 44% compared to the prior year.

While overall mining investment has most certainly dropped significantly in the past three years, the biggest decline came in the "Plant Investment" area. Investment in Peru's mining plant capital expenditures fell a stunning 83% from $1.4 billion in 2013 to $234 million last year. This huge decline in Peru's mining investment will have a negative impact on future metals production in the country.

Furthermore, the Silver Institute (using Thomson Reuters GFMS data) forecasts that global silver production will decline 1% in 2016 even with a 6.6% growth in Peru's domestic mine supply. When the U.S. and global markets finally crack, the prices of base metals will continue to decline. Thus, base metal's production will likely start to fall off in the coming years.

This will have a negative impact on global silver production as copper, zinc and lead account for 56% of by-product silver production (2015). A 20% decline in global copper, zinc and lead production, would likely knock off 100 Moz of global silver production. This assumes that copper, zinc and lead by-product silver production of 500 Moz in 2015, would fall 20% to 400 Moz.

Regardless, the world is now reaching peak production in energy and metals. Unfortunately, the downside of the production profile will not be slow and subtle. Rather, we will likely experience something resembling a CLIFF-LIKE decline in the future.


Rural India sells household gold for cash

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KOLKATA: The volume of old gold being recycled in tier-2 and tier-3 cities has risen 50% since January.

A price hike of 6.68% in gold since January and low access to digital transactions are encouraging to recycle their old gold in these areas. Jewellers said people are liquidating gold to take advantage of the price rise, especially during the wedding season. Gold price has risen from Rs 27,570 per 10 gm on January 1 to Rs 29,400 per 10 gm.

"People living in smaller towns are recycling gold to meet the household demand. In these areas, the digital transaction facilities are not adequate to help them purchase gold. Most of them are not used to such transactions. And they do not want to give away the cash in hand. All these factors are forcing them to recycle old gold," said Nitin Khandelwal, chairman, All India Gem & Jewellery Trade Federation.

World Gold Council estimates that 89.6 tonnes of gold was recycled in 2016 compared to 80.2 tonnes in 2015. "The government should come up with a recycled gold policy which will give a direction to people who are willing to offload ancestral gold," said Surendra Mehta, national secretary, India Bullion & Jewellers Association (IBJA).

Nearly 25,000 tonnes of idle gold are locked up in Indian households. Saurabh Gadgil, managing director, PNG Jewellers, said people are encashing gold to take advantage of the rising prices.

"Our stores in Aurangabad, Nanded, Sangli-Kolhapur, Jalna and Vidarbha are witnessing heavy flow of recycled gold. There is also a strong sentiment in the that gold prices will shoot up going ahead," he said.

Electronics recycling center proposed for Cumberland County

MIDDLESEX TOWNSHIP, CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. - Recycling TV's and other electronics can be a challenge for the people who want to get rid of them.

State law makes it illegal to put electronics in the trash. Recycling those items can often be a costly program for many Pennsylvania counties.

It can be difficult for people to find a new home for old TV's and other electronics in Cumberland County.

Cumberland County recycling coordinator Justin Miller said "I can't tell you the number of calls we get all the time. Largely driven by televisions. Televisions are the most challenging of the electronics."

Until it hired a contractor to do the job, the York County Solid Waste Management authority found recycling used electronics doesn't come cheap.

York County Solid Waste Authority Manager Ellen O'Connor said "had we not been able to do that, we would have been spending out of pocket, close to one million dollars this year for those expenses. What we're paying ECOvanta right now is around $8,500 a month."

A recent state law that made it illegal to dispose electronics in the trash, was supposed to make recycling better for the environment, but officials in many counties found it to do the opposite.

"Act 108 bans haulers from picking up certain electronic devices at the curb. It also bans disposal of certain electronics at any waste disposal facility in Pennsylvania," O'Connor said.

"People are finding their own disposal outlets which can be in the woods, along roads and streams, and then it's truly exposed to the environment," Miller said.

It's why Cumberland County plans to do some recycling of its own and re-purpose a county barn into a more suitable place for recycled electronics.

"Pennsylvania has a law that says manufacturers are supposed to fund electronics recycling. It's not working out very well. So what we're seeing is recyclers abandon that program and essentially go out on their own and charge fees," Miller said.

"I think it's a necessity, than 'oh let's do this.' I think counties and communities that are stepping up and saying we need to comply with the law. We need to find a way to do that. We need to be able to serve the needs of our residents," O'Connor said.

Officials said the center will charge 50 cents per pound, per item.

They propose to have the recycling center open two days a week, by late spring or early summer once commissioners approve the plan.

Adams County
There is no e-cycling program in Adams County. Residents who need to recycle electronics may take it to the Washington Township transfer station located in Franklin County.

Dauphin County
Dauphin County offers an e-cycling program for residents only.

Franklin County
According to the county's website, "Franklin County does not sponsor an organized countywide recycling system. Ongoing budgetary constraints limit the county's ability to support ancillary services."

"Currently recycling is made available through a combination of curbside and drop-off collection programs. The programs that do exist operate in 20 of the 22 municipalities."

Lancaster County
LCSWMA offers Lancaster County residents free drop-off services for household hazardous waste (HHW), including e-waste, at a drive-through hhw facility on Harrisburg Pike in Lancaster.

The HHW Facility is open 5.5 days each week, and again, is free for Lancaster County residents only. E-waste accepted at the facility includes desktop computers, laptops, printers, keyboards, speakers, televisions, and mobile devices.

York County
York County offers an electronics recycling program Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Homeboy Industries Acquires Isidore Electronics Recycling

Nonprofit Homeboy Industries has acquired Los Angeles-based Isidore Electronics Recycling, which is now dubbed Homeboy Recycling Powered by Isidore. The deal closed in November and was financed entirely by donations.

Isidore Electronics Recycling will be staffed by former inmates going through Homeboy's 18-month training program, which includes counseling, tattoo removal and other services.

Los Angeles Times has more information:

Homeboy Industries is already a salsa maker, cake baker and cafe operator. Now the Los Angeles institution, which helps the formerly incarcerated find jobs, is adding a new label to its expanding empire: recycler.

The nonprofit announced Monday that it had acquired Isidore Electronics Recycling, a downtown Los Angeles company that collects, sorts, shreds and resells gadgets including laptops and phones. The recycling center will be rebranded Homeboy Recycling Powered by Isidore (named after Saint St. Isidore, the ancient Spanish scholar considered the patron saint of computers and the Internet).