Ecollective Creates Easier Access to Recycling
Depending on how you define "fast" and "slow," changes take time, but some processes can get sped up when a proactive initiative pushes positive changes ahead.
San Francisco Chronicle reports the following: that in four months after the launch of the ecollective initiative, more than 83 percent of California households (approximately 9.6 million households) are now within 10 miles of their closest ecollective e-waste drop-off location. A geographical analysis conducted by ecollective also shows that 6 out of 10 households (approximately 7 million households) are within 5 miles of one of the 235 ecollective locations throughout California.
If access to recycling facilities influence whether or not people recycle, then having more accessible recycling spots will, theoretically at least, increase the recycling rate.
Jim Taggart, who is president of ECS Refining, the company behind the ecollective initiative states: "We set out to serve almost all California households within a 10-mile service areas because we know that if we make it easy for people to drop off their unwanted electronics, we can help eliminate the e-waste that ends up in our landfills or that gets exported for unsafe dismantling and processing,...Today's statistics show that we're very close to achieving that goal, and demonstrate that we have a successful e-waste recycling model that can be expanded to other states."
That being said, it still remains to be seen whether or not consumer habits will change because easy access to a facility or service doesn't necessarily mean that people will actually use it.
E-waste includes all kinds of electronics consumers no longer want: TVs, monitors, computer equipment, office equipment, cell phones or other electronics, and much more.
E-waste continues to be a global problem. Very few people realize that 70 percent of e-waste gets stockpiled because it is difficult to safely dispose of the toxic heavy metals used to manufacture electronics. In truth, approximately 15 percent of e-waste gets recycled. The problem of managing e-waste is significant enough for the Environmental Protection Agency to add the disposal of e-waste to a list of the agency's top four environmental priorities, alongside issues such as climate change, air quality and access to clean water.Continued on the next page