Today’s Problem With Yesterday’s Technology.

We all remember the 90’s and owning Nintendos, Sega Genisis’, Play Station Ones, or some sort of gaming device along those lines. Ah, the memories!…  Not only that, but we also remember the massive television sets that dominated the majority of our living rooms when we were kids.  Fast forward to the early 2000’s and we can recall our first family computer that delighted us with the advent of the dial-up internet and long load times. Yes, indeed, those were the days!

Electronic Waste and Recycling

Today’s fast-paced, on-the-go, instagram-ification seeking mentality, has turned our once high-tech treasures into little more than trash. Whether it’s due to true obsolescence or societal pressures to “grow-up” and become adults, our high-tech trinkets are now junk that collects dust until we have to get rid of them. Here’s where the problem begins.

Most techy things, such as T.V.’s, VCR’s, Monitors, Power Tools, P.C.’s, Laptops, etc. have become outdated and no longer useful. The questions is, what do we do with it now? Do we sell it on eBay, Craigslist, or maybe garage sale? The reality is that most of us don’t have time, much less the energy to deal with selling our junk. We much rather take the simpler approach of throwing it away. But, did you know that some e-waste can take up to 1-2 million years to decompose? If you didn’t know, well now you do!

Of course throwing away your old electronics seems like the easy and harmless way to rid yourself of an inconvenience, but the negative impact it generates on our environment far outweighs any presumed convenience factor. E-waste can be very toxic. The University of British Columbia’s Medical Journal outlined the toxicity of e-waste and found that many of the chemicals and heavy metals used to produce computers, televisions, circuit boards, etc…can cause serious health complications when exposed to humans and animals.

E-waste is strictly prohibited in landfills across the nation due to its toxicity and slow rate of decomposition. Throwing away any electronics into dumpsters not strictly designated for the purpose of recycling electronics is not allowed (click here for full list). Many cities across the Denver Metro Area are implementing e-waste recycling programs to help keep these harmful items out of our landfills. Here are some links to electronic recycling programs found in cities around Denver Metro.

Arvada – http://arvada.org/residents/services-and-sustainability/cleanup 

Broomfield – http://arvada.org/residents/services-and-sustainability/cleanup

Denver – https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/trash-and-recycling/recycling/electronics-recycling.html 

Thornton – https://www.cityofthornton.net/government/infrastructure/trash-recycling/Pages/default.aspx

Westminster – http://www.ci.westminster.co.us/Environment/HardtoRecycleGuide/RecycleListC#Computers