Feeling Guilty About Not Recycling eWaste?

by Nellie J

In a world obsessed with electronic communication, portable media devices and the constant need to stay in touch with each other,  people are starting to feel guilty about what happens to their eJunk! Have you ever wondered what happens to that old mobile phone or computer once it’s past the use by date or has been superseded by the latest high tech mobile device?

A survey conducted by Call2Recycle has addressed the feelings of guilt experienced by modern electronic consumers as they discard their old iPhone to update to the latest in a flurry to keep up to date!

I was just trying to find a new use for that crap!

The survey by Call2Recycle highlights that the increase in green guilt is accompanying the escalating amount of electronic waste, which represents the fastest growing municipal waste stream in the United States. Released in advance of Earth Day  the survey demonstrates a sense of growing obligation among Americans to recycle, said the group’s president Carl Smith.

According to the survey, more than half of Americans — 57 percent — say they have old electronics they need to discard — such as cell phones, computers, TVs, cordless phones and batteries. The downside is that 44 percent of the 1,041 respondents reported that not knowing where or how to rid themselves of the technology is the No. 1 barrier to recycling.

Stacy Ford Mahoskey, an information technology specialist in Ogden, is among Utah residents who admits to suffering from green guilt, even though she says she tries to be as conscientious as she can about recycling electronic equipment.

In the past, she’s donated unwanted cell phones to the local elementary school and taken old computers to an area thrift store.

By the numbers

  • 57% of Americans have old electronics to discard
  • 44% of respondents don’t know where or how to get rid of e-waste properly
  • 32% of people do not recycle more often because of that ? 26% of people say they don’t have time to recycle
  • 24% of people procrastinate or can’t afford it
  •  32% of women suffer from ‘green guilt’
  • 25% of men suffer from ‘green guilt’

The No. 1 reason people don’t recycle e- waste is that they don’t know how or where to do so.

“I have a couple of old computers sitting in my basement that I would love to throw away, but I have not,” she said. “They’re old, with the big CRT monitors that are the ones people are concerned about because they’re bad for the environment.”

While she plans to unload them through a work recycling program, the Davis County mother of three boys concedes she’s unsure of what to do with a television that no longer works.

“It’s irritating to have it there but I don’t know what to do with it other than to take it to the Deseret Industries,” she said. “But I am not sure what they would do with it either.”

Source: KSL.com

The manufacturing of electronic goods is a resource heavy industry. Living on a planet with finite resources, wouldn’t it make sense to encourage recycling of eProducts? According to the survey women experience the most guilt.

Do you ever wonder what happens to your old eJunk once you don’t want it? Have you started to recycle your electronic goods at your local eJunk recycling center? Do you know where your local eJunk recycling ceneter is?

Should we make eJunk recycling easier to access? Maybe we should start a system where you get a discount on your new electronic goods when you bring in your old?

What do you think?

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