How E-Waste Affects Endangered Species

During a recent family trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, a comment from our tour guide had us thinking about the work we do at PC Survivors and the essential role it plays in preserving endangered species. The guide explained how electronics in landfills and in the environment are accelerating the extinction of protected wildlife. Our tech savvy son joined in the discussion and suggested we address the topic in our online newsletter. In this article, we will explore the crisis facing our planet’s animal populations and how proper recycling techniques, like the ones we employ, can help to remedy the situation.

While many companies understand the direct benefits of our data elimination and electronics recycling services for the safety and security of their business, many are unaware of the significant positive influence these efforts have on the global ecosystem.

Recycling e-waste protects the environment in two major ways:

First, keeping these materials out of landfills helps prevent contamination from toxic chemicals, minerals, PBDEs and metals like mercury and lead. Once these elements are introduced to soil, it is only a matter of time until they reach ground water and spread through the phenomenon known as acid rain. Also, contamination quickly climbs the food chain as animals consume contaminated prey. Having your obsolete, broken or otherwise unwanted electronics properly recycled ensures that they won’t wind up in a landfill and helps to mitigate this situation.

The second significant way in which electronics recycling protects animals and the environment is by contributing to a sustainable supply chain for the production of new devices. The proliferation of smartphones, tablets, computers and other forms of modern technology, as well as companies’ inclination to rapidly release new models, has resulted in a dramatic uptick in the demand for gold, coltan and other finite natural resources. The increase in mining efforts to meet this demand is causing critical disruption and displacement of endangered species such as the gorillas of The Democratic Republic of Congo. The issue is so prevalent, the United Nations has outlined recommendations for members of the technology industry to procure materials from ‘DCR conflict free’ sources. One of the main DCR conflict free sources is recycled e-waste.

When it comes to environmentally sustainable e-waste recycling, not all processors are equal. At PC Survivors, we recycle electronics with strict adherence to all applicable local, federal and international standards. We have been recognized for our commitment to best practices in the form of our annual audit and R2 RIOS Certification.