Ewaste is ugly. Ewaste is hazardous. Unfortunately, ewaste is shipped overseas by many recyclers, causing irreversible damage to human beings and the environment. Yet many organizations unknowingly choose recyclers who ship obsolete electronics overseas with no regard to their final destination. Employing the use of a recycler who ships overseas dramatically increases the risk of environmental liability. All organizations, either morally or legally, should develop a compliance plan for the disposal of retired electronic assets to avoid fines, litigation and even possible imprisonment.
eForce Recycling assures our clients that the highest environmental value is achieved and that all obsolete material is demanufactured onsite.
Electronics contain a number of hazardous materials that, when improperly disposed of, create an environmental hazard. Some of the benefits of proper recycling include:
- Reduction of environmental liability.
- Conservation of valuable resources, namely precious metals, copper, steel, aluminum, plastic.
- Saves valuable landfill space.
- Reduces lead emissions from incinerators, thus helping to reduce air pollution.
- Helps companies meet their recycling mandates.
List of accepted electronics
Fluorescent bulbs are the most commonly types of bulbs generated by facilities. Typical lengths are 4 and 8 foot, with u-tube bulbs also in the mix. Lamp waste causes more mercury contamination of the environment than any other consumer product and must be handled with respect to the damaging effects improper disposal causes.
Types of lamps
- Package lamps tightly without separators or any other packaging materials.
- Package lamps in OEM boxes or boxes provided by eForce.
- Place partially filled boxes on top of the pallet.
- Mark each container with an accumulation date (lamps must be shipped within one year of that date).
- Keep lamps and boxes dry.
- Empty boxes of all packing materials before refilling.
- Secure boxes by shrink-wrapping directly to the pallet.
- Lamp packages contain all lamps of identical length.
- Each lamp container must be labeled, "Used Mercury Lamps for Recycling" or "Universal Waste Mercury Lamps."
- For your convenience, download labels that fulfill the requirement.
Most fluorescent lighting fixtures contain a ballast, an electronic device inside the fixture that regulates the flow of electricity to the bulbs. Ballasts come in all shapes, sizes, types and weights. PCB and DEHP ballasts, also known as wet ballasts, are considered hazardous waste, non-PCB ballasts, known as dry ballasts, can be recycled. Typically, ballast have labeling identifying their type.
Types of ballast
- If ballast cannot be positively identified as non-PCB, it should be considered PCB.
- Intact, non-leaking PCB ballasts must be shipped in a USDOT PG III approved approved poly pail, poly drum or steel drum. with a secured lid (49 CFR Part 178.504) The USDOT maximum drum weight allowance is 882 lbs.
- PCB or NON-PCB ballasts should be separated according to type.
- Leaking PCB ballasts must be double-bagged and placed in a USDOT PG III authorized drum containing at least 3 inches of vermiculite. These ballasts are considered hazardous waste and must be packaged, marked and shipped (manifested) in compliance with applicable TSCA hazardous waste regulations.
Ballast Labeling - Each drum should be labeled as PCB or NON-PCB ballasts. PCB ballasts must be labeled in accordance with EPA regulatory requirements. Improper packaging will result in additional handling charges.
Batteries operate when heavy metals, such as such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel within the battery react with chemical electrolytes to produce power. Thus, batteries pose a potential environmental problem and need to be processed correctly to assure heavy metals are not landfilled and properly recycled. eForce provides recycling services for most battery types and for simplicity has identified battery types below for reference.
Type 1 Batteries - Alkaline Sealed Cells & Battery Packs
Type 2 Batteries - Lithium Ion, NiCad, Nickel Metal Hydride, Zinc Air, Zinc Carbon
I'm not sure what type battery I have?
Improper storage and handling of batteries can result in a fire hazard. It is important to understand that when battery terminals come in contact with other materials the stage is set for a fire. Taping, wrapping and bagging will help prevent disaster.
Preparing to Ship
- Batteries must be sorted according to battery type. Do not mix battery types.
- Batteries should be packaged in a DOT approved poly pail, poly drum or steel drum.
- Mark each container with an accumulation date (batteries must be shipped within one year of that date).
- All batteries (except alkalines) must be separated so that terminals do not touch. Terminals may be taped, bagged or placed in a non-conductive material. ( Alkaline batteries are not regulated as hazardous waste when shipped seperate from other batteries and are not required to be taped if separate).
- Leaking and damaged batteries must be placed in a closed, structurally sound, compatible storage unit that must lack evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage that could cause leakage under reasonably foreseeable conditions.
- Make sure batteries are being stored away from flammable materials or heat. A cool, dry environment for storage is best.
- Label all battery containers.
- Each battery or container holding batteries must be marked, "Universal Waste Battery(ies)" or "Waste Battery(ies)" or "Used Battery(ies)."
- Small and medium sized lithium or lithium ion battery containers must be marked:"Lithium Batteries- Forbidden for Transport Aboard Aircraft and Vessel".
Mercury is used in a variety of manufacturing processes and in products such as thermometers, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL's), blood pressure cuffs, and thermostats. If you improperly dispose of mercury containing products with mercury, they may break and release mercury vapors which are harmful to human and ecological health.
About Mercury Devices
Under the EPA UNIVERSAL WASTE RULE, mercury-containing devices can be handled as Universal Waste.
Universal Waste Types: Thermometers, Barometers, Thermostats, Switches, Precision Instruments, and Medical Devices.
Universal waste mercury-containing equipment (i.e., each device), or a container in which the equipment is contained, must be labeled or marked clearly with any of the following phrases: "Universal Waste-Mercury Containing Equipment," "Waste Mercury-Containing Equipment," or "Used Mercury-Containing Equipment."
A universal waste mercury-containing thermostat or container containing only universal waste mercury-containing thermostats may be labeled or marked clearly with any of the following phrases: "Universal Waste-Mercury Thermostat(s)," "Waste Mercury Thermostat(s)," or "Used Mercury Thermostat(s)."
For your convenience, download labels that fulfill this requirement.
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Reducing your waste stream is an easy way to gain LEED points while saving money on your bottom line.