I was asked this week to find out whether Electronix ReDux Corp., the new e-waste recycling company that is going to be collecting old electronics at the Transfer Station on the first Saturday of each month from now on, is disposing of the materials it collects in a responsible manner. What follows is the query I made and the Electronix ReDux Corp. response.
I am one of the selectmen in the Town of Medfield, and the question has been raised by a resident as to what you do with the electronic goods that you collect, and whether they are being responsibly disposed of by your company. Can you please share with me how your business deals with the old electronics, and also share how and where the ultimate disposal takes place.
Thank you for your courtesies and assistance with this matter.
Osler L. Peterson, Attorney at Law
PETERSON | Law
580 Washington Street, Newton, MA 02458
66 North St, PO Box 358, Medfield, MA 02052
T 617.969.1501 (direct)
Medfield Information at: FB, https://medfield02052.wordpress.com/ & http://twitter.com/Medfield
This is a question we receive frequently from both commercial and residential customers. The recycling procedure used depends on what the item being recycled is, and what it’s components are comprised of. For the sake of simplicity, I will give the example of a home PC which we recycle on a daily basis. The first step in the process is to shred the hard drive, as it may contain personal data. This is the most important part of the procedure in our eyes, as we feel that it is our responsibility to ensure proper destruction of the data-containing components entrusted to us by our customers. If the computer is deemed usable, it will be fitted with a new hard drive and find a new life with someone less fortunate than the individual who donated it to our company. If the computer is too old or damaged, the various drives, motherboards, RAM, CPUs, etc. are removed and separated into various bins for further processing. These parts all contain extremely minute trace amounts of various precious metals which will be recovered via a refining process. Gold, for example, has reached such historic prices in recent years that it has actually become cheaper to “mine” it from expired consumer electronics than to attempt to mine it from the earth’s crust. The outer shell of the computer is made up of plastic and steel and in some rare cases, aluminum. These metals and plastics are separated and recycled in the same manner that they have been for decades.
Within recent years there has been a growing awareness of the unscrupulous practices of some e-waste recyclers, and I have a sneaking suspicion that your resident’s question was sparked by one of the many television specials reporting on the dirty side of this issue. Images of children in Third World countries tearing apart our end-of-life electronics in dirty and hazardous conditions certainly warrant cause for concern and sometimes invoke feelings of guilt in the consumers responsible for the disposal of these products. I can assure you that this is not the type of business that we run, and that we pride ourselves on our green initiative and ethical values. There has been very little government legislation regulating the disposal of e-waste in the past, but this is all changing and the crackdown has begun. Anything that we do not have the capability of handling in-house is performed by other licensed companies within the United States, regardless of the potentially higher costs. We are in this business for the long haul and feel that it is in our best interest to do things by the book and keep a clean record if we are to continue to operate well into the future. We appreciate both your business and your concern! If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to e-mail or call.
Electronix ReDux Corp.
8 Shire Drive, Suite 5
Norfolk, MA 02056
Direct: (508) 384-1112
Fax: (508) 384-3459