Now that emerging technologies are surfacing faster and in greater numbers, innovative IT strategies are shifting business paradigms and data security is a growing concern, the topic of e-waste is becoming an increasingly prevalent conversation in the world of tech. Electronic waste, or e-waste, encompasses the massive amounts of discarded end-of-life electrical assets or electronic equipment that businesses and individuals have come to produce. This can include computers, monitors, printers, scanners, phones, DVD players and more. However, although most are aware of e-waste, the amount of disposed assets currently being generated is reaching mind-boggling totals, necessitating careful consideration and actionable conversations around the measurement and management of non-essential or unnecessary IT equipment.

So, how is e-waste properly measured and managed? Unfortunately, most of the time it simply isn’t. Reports acknowledge that in 2016, only 20 percent of e-waste was recycled through appropriate channels. As for that remaining 80 percent of e-waste, 4 percent was known to have been thrown into landfills, but the resting place of the other 76 percent was never known for sure. With the total volume of global e-waste estimated to total over 44 million metric tons in that same year, this lack of awareness is a major concern.

The truth of the matter is that much of this generated waste ends up being unsafely dumped into landfills either locally or overseas. This allows the toxic chemicals and dangerous metals (such as lead, mercury, cadmium and other toxic fumes) contained in these disposed assets to leech into surrounding soils and groundwater, posing major health risks for both the surrounding communities and natural environments. According to United Nations reports, only 16 percent of the global e-waste generated in 2014 was recycled by government agencies and companies sanctioned by industry regulators. The key to establishing a clear view of e-waste totals, and subsequently tracking it and ensuring it’s taken care of ethically, lies in implementing safe and thoughtful practices.

Luckily, the tides of e-waste are beginning to change. As awareness grows over the unethical implications of improper IT Asset Disposition (ITAD), more transparent and responsible options for businesses are becoming available. Although, choosing an ITAD partner can be tricky, as many may still try to hide their true practices or cut corners.

Liquid Technology, an industry-leading IT asset disposition (ITAD) service provider, has been serving as a trusted ITAD ally since 2000. With deep expertise about the many facets of ethical e-waste processes, the company helps guide clients through every step, ensuring that assets are disposed of safely, securely and with maximum return on investment. The company provisions security-focused, end-to-end and compliant services, including equipment liquidation, data destruction and e-waste handling, that are e-Stewards Certified, R2 Certified, and ISO 14001 Certified. This effectively ensures that all state, local and federal regulations are seamlessly and transparently met, even as restrictions change and tighten.

Whether it’s measured in pounds, number of devices, or global impact, it’s clear that e-waste is now a permanent fixture of the contemporary IT world. As such, ethical ITAD must become an integral responsibility for all businesses and individuals as the dependence on the digital world grows. To certify thorough processes and effectively safeguard the world’s communities and environments, partnering with a trusted ally is every business’ best bet.

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