Renovating your office, or for that matter, any other business space that makes heavy use of computers, phones and assorted electronic equipment, can be a stressful process, to say the least. With so many balls to keep in the air, from scheduling your renovation to making sure it stays firmly under budget, figuring out how to dispose of all the electronic waste your office no longer requires is often a task that gets bumped to the bottom of the list.
However, electronic equipment and appliances cannot simply be dropped off at your local dump along with the rest of the waste materials from your renovation. These pieces of equipment must be properly, safely disposed of using a dedicated e-waste recycling service, for three very important reasons:
An outdated computer monitor or an antiquated answering machine may seem like a pretty innocuous object, but despite appearances, these devices can do significant harm to the environment if allowed to degrade in an ordinary landfill. This is because electronic devices routinely contain a large variety of harmful, and sometimes even toxic, chemicals, which are released into surrounding soil and groundwater if allowed to decompose in the open.
Generally speaking, the older your electronic equipment is, the more likely it is to contain harmful chemicals, and many outdated phones, computers and servers arrays contain lethally toxic substances such as mercury, cadmium, lead and various harmful heavy metals. However, even newer equipment may contain significant amounts of these dangerous materials. If released into the environment, these substances can cause widespread devastation to local flora and fauna, and may even make it into local crops and water supplies.
Avoiding legal trouble
Even if the fate of your surrounding environment means nothing to you, disposing of your electronic waste properly is still the smart move when it comes to avoiding legal trouble. Improperly disposing of any kind of commercial waste is a criminal offence in Australia, with penalties varying from state to state; if the waste you dump contains harmful chemicals, however, this punishment could become much more severe.
If dangerous substances found in local soil and water samples can be traced back to the waste you dump, more serious criminal charges based on endangering the public health can be levelled against you, carrying the threat of heavy jail time and crippling fines with them. You may also be prosecuted under environmental protection laws, particularly if you dump your waste in a heavily populated area.
Recouping your costs
Needless to say, disposing of your e-waste properly and legally will benefit your company's accounts in the long run, but there is another reason proper electronic recycling can benefit your pocketbook. Electronic devices do not just contain noxious substances; some of the materials used to craft electronic circuitry and devices are very valuable, with the average mobile phone containing significant amounts of gold and platinum within its shell.
By disposing of your waste through a dedicated e-waste recycling service, these valuable materials can be reclaimed, and the subsequent prices they fetch can put a significant dent in the overall costs of disposal.