DID YOU KNOW THAT THE MORE WE RECYCLE OUR OLD COMPUTERS AND CELL PHONES, THE LESS ENERGY WE NEED TO USE, AND THE MORE WE REDUCE THE WORLD’S GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS? |
This is true because when we extend the life of the materials used in our ‘throw away’ gadgets, we also reduce the amount of energy required to mine new metals, create new plastics and so forth. Consider this: Recycling aluminum takes 95 percent less energy compared to making aluminum from raw materials, and the resultant annual savings compares to around 19 million barrels of oil . That’s enough energy to supply electricity to 18 million households a year! Mind-blowing, isn’t it?
Here’s another example. Computer recycling also reduces the amount of new copper acquired from mining. Recycling one ton of copper wire from old computers is the equivalent of saving 83.1 million Btu’s, or 14 barrels of oil. While that may not sound like much, let’s dial this in for a more expansive perspective.
83.1 million Btu’s is roughly equivalent to the amount of gasoline necessary to drive the average American car for 18 months. All from just one ton of recycled copper wire. Again, just to put this into perspective, the average desktop computer contains 4.85 pounds of copper wire. To acquire one ton would require 412.4 recycled desktop computers. Here’s where it gets exciting. Last year, over 85.5 million (that’s right, million) desk top computers were disposed of. When you do the math, the total number of discarded desktop computers yields over 207 thousand tons of copper wire. Enough to drive that car for 310 years! Are you getting the picture?
Nationally, our recycling rate is 30.6%. This level of recycling saves the country roughly 1.5 quads of energy per year (one quad is equal to one quadrillion or thousand-trillion Btus). That’s about 1.5% of our nation’s total annual energy consumption. If we could boost our recycling up to 35%, the net result would be an additional 0.23 quads — an amount approximately equal in energy savings value to 41 million barrels of crude oil. That’s also nearly one million gallons of gasoline, or nearly 10,000 tons of CO2 (greenhouse gas).
Here’s just one more factoid for you. Every year, Americans throw away 130 million cellphones. If we recycled these, rather than threw them away, we would save enough energy to power – get ready for it – 24,000 homes. Likewise, if we recycled one million discarded laptops per year, we’d be able to redirect the energy required to generate all that new raw material and power nearly 4,000 homes!
The moral to the story: Next time you’re looking at that old junker desktop computer and thinking about throwing it away, remember this. Every time your business recycles, you are contributing to the solution of climate change. Burning and churning business as usual is not a luxury any of us have anymore. Yes, it requires a little bit more effort to recycle but this is where our company can help you! Green Tree Electronic Recycling recycles electronics. We sell refurbished electronics. We destroy old hard drives from your recycled electronics, protecting your customers and employees private identity information.
DO SOMETHING POWERFUL Contact Green Tree Electronic Recycling and let’s discuss your situation and our services to help you run a greener business.
This blog is written by Joe Hines, Lead Branding Architect at Professional Edge. Green Tree is an electronic waste recycling organization based out of Irvine, CA working to create a more sustainable future for Orange County. Our role in this immense effort is helping our partners take responsible action with their electronic waste. We collect and recycle computers, servers, hard-drives, cell phones and mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) and leverage the profits from recycling e-waste and metals to fund the acquisition of technologies for local public K-12 schools throughout Southern California. This significantly reduces the carbon footprint that technology products and their short life-cycles produce. Visit our site at www.greentreeelectronicrecycling.com or call us at 1-800-405-6308
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