When it comes to reducing e-waste fewer people know where or how to donate old electronics to the right place. Individuals and companies alike typically end up in landfills where harmful chemicals from desktops, laptops and cell phones leak into rivers and damage the environment. One way to ensure that these chemicals don’t end up in landfills is to work together, to focus on zero waste initiatives; raising awareness in our communities. Part of The Burbank Master Recycler Program‘s goal is to execute the “6 R’s of waste reduction: Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Return.”
The Burbank Recycler Program is a free program that provides hands-on training, tours, guest speakers and instruction from professionals for volunteers. One of our Account Executive’s, Brandon Smith, recently gave a presentation to a group of volunteers about what happens to e-waste and how our organization focuses on repurposing old technology. He mentioned how “China is a dumping ground for e-waste from the U.S” where most materials such as steel and copper are extracted. Also, he mentioned that these communities often report “high levels of lead among them.”
While millions of tons of electronics are dumped into landfills each year, the U.S. remains ranked 24th in the world for at home PC and 30th for home broadband access. There is still clearly an ever-present, growing need for computer and internet access in many communities nationwide. During his talk, Brandon noted that “our organization makes a difference in communities by donating refurbished technology to be reused by others in need.” Our process allows us to empower K-12 students, veterans, people with disabilities, parents and college students. Since our inception, we have donated thousands of computers to those in need, which in turn has diverted thousands of pounds away from landfills.
By treating unwanted technology as a resource we can change the perception of e-waste and share our mission with others. The Burbank Master Recycler Program and human-I-T are committed to doing just that while promoting digital literacy and digital inclusion in neighborhoods that need it the most.
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