When you”re making the decision to toss your PC, MAC, Blackberry, or iPhone do you know what actually happens to them? When the life of an electronic ends it becomes electronic waste, also known as e-waste. E-waste recyclers collect end of life electronics. Why? To trade. E-waste recyclers collect electronics for the purposes of trading intact electronics or trade commodities like copper, aluminum, plastics, circuit boards and more, after the electronic has been dismantled. Incidentally, e-waste recyclers are informal commodity traders.

Mechanical vs. Manual De-Manufacturing

What e-waste recyclers won”t say is that is there is an occupational hazard plus an economic and environmental impact to recycling. A majority of e-waste recyclers mechanically de-manufacturer e-waste in the US. Mechanical de-manufacturing is using machines, like a knife, hammermill, and/or chain shredder to break down the electronics. If the electronic is mechanically dismantled, the commodities end up co-mingled — contaminated — at that point it”s called residue or fluff. Recyclers don”t say there is no value in residue but the fact is no one will buy residue.

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