Avoid E-Waste: Repair, Replace, Reuse, Donate, or Recycle Your Electronic Equipment?

reuse electronics50 million tons! That’s right – that’s how much e-waste is expected to be generated in 2020, ALONE! What is e-waste, exactly? Discarded electronic equipment– anything discarded that has/had a battery or plug.

Is most of this e-waste industrial? Consumer? It’s both, of course. Both consumers and businesses are regularly faced with the dilemma – is it more cost effective to repair electronics? Or to replace? And if you choose to replace, what then do you do with the damaged item you no longer need? All good questions!

The Bad & The Ugly:

  • 10 lbs of lead are in a typical CRT. Lead causes damage to human blood, kidneys, central and peripheral nervous systems.
  • Flat panel displays are loaded with mercury
  • Plastic cases around electronics contain poly-brominated flame retardents; they do their job but they are nasty contaminants that can seep into groundwater.
  • Producing a computer along with its monitor takes at least 1.5 tons of water, 48 pounds of chemicals, and 530 pounds of fossil fuels.
  • Electronics recycling centers are often located in developing countries where environmental and labor laws are virtually non-existent.

The Good:

  • Electronics can be repaired!
  • Electronics can be reused by others!

What Choices Do You Have?

  • Maintain your electronic devices with care! Preventive maintenance, especially for industrial electronics, can keep your equipment going for many years. Avoid exposing any electronics to harsh environments.  Also avoid moisture, excessive heat, dirt and oil.  Getting your industrial electronics repaired when they are damaged will improve their useable lifespan. Industrial electronics are a major investment, so extending their lifespan makes good business sense.
  • Donate your electronics! This is especially true for consumer electronics such as laptop computers and tablets. Donating can help bridge the digital divide for students. Distance learning is impossible for students who do not own and cannot afford the electronic equipment to participate.
  • Resell your no longer needed industrial electronics! You can sell them on services such as ebay yourself or choose a reseller. There are many industrial equipment resellers who can coordinate your sale.  If you want to maximize the price for your equipment you should make sure it is in good working order. Get a professional to evaluate the item if you are unsure.
  • Recycle your electronics. While we’ve already mentioned the downside to recycling, sometimes an electronic device is simply beyond repair and cannot be donated or sold. This leaves recycling which is a better option than putting it in the dumpster! Cellphones contain recoverable metals including copper, palladium, silver, and gold.
  • Avoiding e-waste takes some thought, but it doesn’t have to be terribly complicated.  You’ve got options!

fanuc CRT repairsIf your industrial electronic equipment has lasted a solid 10 years before failure – congratulations! You’re maintenance team is doing something right! But if the time has come for industrial electronic repairs, for donating electronics, or for reselling  your equipment and you find yourself searching for a repair center for your damaged electronics, check first to see if your equipment is still under warranty. If it is still under warranty contact the OEM about repairs.

If it is out of warranty, contact an independent industrial electronic repair center to find out if they are a good fit for your company and your particular repair needs. They should offer free evaluations for your damaged equipment and, if needed, a free quote for repairs (no bench fees!). They should also provide repair reports if requested and a good warranty of at least one year that covers both parts and labor.

About the Author: ACS Industrial Services is an independent industrial electronic repair center providing repairs for all types of industrial electronic equipment and most all manufacturers including circuit board repairs, logic board repairs, PLC repairs, industrial power supply repairs, drive repairs, servo motor repairs, CNC equipment, encoders, monitor and touchscreen repairs, test equipment, and much more. RUSH SERVICE is available and a comprehensive 2-Year Warranty covers most repairs. The knowledgeable and helpful customer service team is available to answer your questions and help solve your toughest industrial electronic repair problems. You can reach them by calling 800-605-6419.