Many factors play into the increasing trends of electronics and other equipment being disposed of quicker than ever. In general, today’s society is fixated on having the most up-to-date equipment, which often leads to people disposing of their existing technology as soon as a newer model is released. However, these new developments and upgrades often improve upon a piece of equipment’s existing ability or use, making the newly-released version a better option. Not only does this practice fit into the average person’s everyday life, but it is also incredibly common in industries where new and updated technologies are constantly emerging and may lead to new discoveries and developments.
This evolution is contributing to the rise of a phenomenon known as E-Waste, when electronic devices and equipment are discarded when they near the end of their useful life. Through this, approximately 40 million tons of electronic waste is generated each year, with almost 2 million tons of that from the United States alone. This 2 million tons in the United States is estimated to be worth $55 billion of discarded equipment. Routinely, this waste is sent to landfills, but much of these pieces of equipment contain materials that are harmful to the environment. If the discarded equipment is incinerated, it can release harmful toxins into the air.
The disposal of major pieces of equipment are not the only issue contributing to environmental pollution. Research facilities and laboratories often utilize single-use materials in their procedures, including pipettes, Petri dishes, and slides. When one combines this with the packaging that these materials come in, it becomes clear why there is such concern about the frequent disposal of these materials and how it can negatively impact the environment. A 2015 study by the University of Exeter estimated that over 5 metric tons of plastic was generated by scientific research alone, and all of this waste likely made its way to a landfill.
Finding ways to reuse and recycle to limit waste, as well as to find potential material alternatives, will help protect the environment without negatively impacting necessary operations, research, and procedures. Finding proper ways to recycle and reuse equipment has a significant impact past the environment. For example, it can take over one ton of water, almost 50 pounds of chemicals, and over 500 pounds of fossil fuels to create one computer. Discarding this computer after its usefulness has past is damaging enough, but discarding it simply in favor for a newer model contributes to the increasing waste issue. Though many of these pieces of equipment have high-value recoverable materials, only upwards of 20 percent are actually properly recycled. One study from the United States Environmental Protection Agency shows that recycling one million cell phones can recover 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium.
EquipNet is working hard to prevent waste and misallocation of resources. If your company or facility has unneeded assets for whatever reason, we are happy to work with you to make sure the asset is properly handled with an outcome satisfying to you. Our Sustainability Initiative has diverted almost 200,000 tons of waste from landfills. If your asset is beyond its useability, our strategic partnerships can help make sure that the equipment is recycled in compliance to local, state, and federal guidelines to minimize any negative environmental impact. However, if you simply no longer need or use a piece of equipment but it is still functional, we will help you work to redeploy the asset to extend its life cycle. Through our Investment Recovery and Redeployment Solutions, we can help you move the asset to another of your facilities that can use the equipment, or we can help you sell it so another company can make use of it while you make some extra money and free up space. Contact us today to we can help you manage your unneeded assets to the best benefit of everyone!
Categorias: Asset Management