A. Easy Recycle Store is the consumer electronics recycling division of PC Disposal (PCD). Since 1998, PCD has been providing environmentally-friendly computer recycling services to companies of all sizes, including many Fortune 500 companies. With the huge glut of e-waste being discarded each year, PCD’s founder, Kory Bostwick, decided it was imperative to create an easy way for consumers and small businesses to safely recycle the old computers, televisions, cell phones and other obsolete electronic devices. Click here to learn more about the Easy Recycle Store.

A. You may be shocked to find out what’s lurking in your favorite electronic devices. For example, each computer contains roughly four pounds of lead, along with small quantities of highly toxic cadmium and mercury! If dumped in a landfill, these e-waste contaminants seep into the ground – poisoning the Earth and water supplies. And you may not think your little cell phone could make a big difference. But when combined with the millions of cell phones discarded each year, it becomes a significant problem to the environment.

A. First of all, we believe that the best way to recycle a computer or other consumer electronics device is to find a new home for it. The Easy Recycle Store staff will try to resell or donate to schools and charities any equipment that still has “value” to it. By reusing the same products – a form of precycling – we can reduce, or at least delay, the use of energy for the recycling process.

You may have noticed that we put the word “value” in quotes above. That’s to point out the unfortunate fact that even though most discarded electronic products will have functional value, they won’t have perceived value. That means that most of the products received at the Easy Recycle Store won’t find a new home – we’ll need to recycle them.

In our industry, Easy Recycle Store is classified as a “collector-separator.” Once the equipment reaches our processing center, we begin the process of data wiping or destroying any device that requires our data removal service. The equipment is then broken down and separated into its basic material categories. From there, each material is shipped to its corresponding recycling plant: metal recycling center, glass recycler, plastic bailer, etc.

A. Recycling events would appear be a convenient way to get rid of old consumer electronics. Unfortunately, as was covered in an article in USA Today, some of these events are really scams that take advantage of people’s good intentions. Often, the volunteers and even the organizations and local government agencies that set up these events don’t know what’s really happening to the e-waste they collect.

News reports have been cropping up about what really happens to your old computers, TVs, cell phones, etc. Sometimes the perpetrators will separate the resalable equipment and dump the rest in a landfill. Other times they’ll dump the equipment overseas to make a few bucks off of the precious metals. The overseas dumping grounds have become so toxic that, in one village, tests indicate that seven of 10 children have high levels of lead in their bodies. The CBS television show, 60 Minutes, did a segment on this very problem. Click here to view the video. Finally, no one at these recycling events will remove the data from your computer – an issue that could come back to haunt you.

A. Even if you reformatted your hard drive, it’s easy for someone with a little know-how to resurrect your data using recover software. That means that personal information, financial account numbers and software serial numbers are readily available for someone to exploit. Easy Recycle Store’s data wipe service uses the same methods used by the U.S. Department of Defense to permanently remove your data. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

A. Feel free to contact us. Click here for contact information.

Did you know?

What's in that e-waste? "Lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, polyvinyl chlorides. All of these materials have known toxicological effects that range from brain damage to kidney disease to mutations, cancers."

Allen Hershkowitz,
Senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council