What happens to a computer after it dies? Or a cell phone after it becomes obsolete? It seems the whole world plugs into a dongle just to stay connected. I know I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of the iPhone 7, and not just because I have the unfortunate habit of cracking my screen.
But what about the companies that manufacture these electronics, and the companies that use them? What happens when they don’t sell all of their devices or need to upgrade? We can all relate to facing the decision about what to do with an old phone or computer when it comes time to buy a new one. Companies face this same challenge just at a bigger scale.
Waste management regulations inform companies how to dispose of old electronics, and for many, it’s hard to keep up with these ever-evolving regulations. So if you work for a company that handles electronic waste, or eWaste, how do you manage?
Let’s begin with a story. I went to a Verizon store a few months back and noticed a drop-box for old cell phones. Here, I retired an out-of-date Razor cell phone. When I dropped it in, I noticed it clinked amongst other well-loved phones.
So, I got to thinking. What does Verizon do with all of these old phones? They have a few different options. I’ll share two with you. First, they sell a large majority because the market for used phones is huge and growing – especially in emerging markets like Africa.
But what happens with the leftovers? That’s when waste regulations come into play – the regulations directing enterprises how to dispose of old electronics — and much, much more.
More technology means more regulations, and more of a trending topic because fines continue to increase. Although currently no federal legislation in the U.S. mandates the recycling of e-waste specifically, the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulates hazardous wastes, including some types of electronic waste such as TVs and monitors. However, 25 states have already passed some type of eWaste legislation.
As stated previously, the RCRA mandates how companies must dispose of hazardous waste. This goes far beyond electronics. And finding a way to manage, reduce, dispose, even recycle all of the different types of hazardous waste, universal waste and beyond can become a challenge without the right tools.
Now for an analogy. Think back to your primary school days when you had science projects. Maybe you were the whiz who made the baking soda volcano, or maybe you sat on the sidelines like me and admired it. Either way, that volcano erupted eventually. And like a company building-up waste every day, eventually you’ll need to find a way to manage it properly before erupting and losing compliance.
Luckily for your everyday waste management needs, there’s Gensuite Waste Tracker. Use Waste Tracker to create waste reduction targets with a sustainability goals and objectives plan. This software gives you the ability to develop waste audits, eco inventory surveys, metric reports using our Incidents and Measurements tool, sustainability reports and more.
Gensuite subscribers, such as Amazon, GE and Sabic, claim they aren’t necessarily having issues handling waste on-site, but they are trying to find a way to compile waste details and present a waste reduction and waste planning program. Use on-site waste management software to:
Set targets: Waste reduction goals and waste planning
Profile waste: eWaste, hazardous waste, universal (batteries, laptops, etc.)
Ship waste: Landfills, reclamation facilities, etc.
The Waste Tracker tool allows you to create a waste type profile. Then on a manifest, you can explain and document where it went (landfill, reclamation facility, etc.), then on an annual/monthly basis, you can show how much waste you have diverted from a landfill. That information demonstrates an improvement in your waste program, which leads into an eco inventory survey.
Electronics are booming just as much as eWaste management. Companies need an advanced system to compile waste details and find a way to reduce waste in this ever-advancing society. Gensuite can help companies achieve these goals, right alongside the release of the next iPhone.
Contact us to achieve responsible and profitable Waste Management compliance.