You would expect an IT company to recycle its own electronics. But did you know that Stemp Systems recycles the old electronic equipment that we replace for our clients? Clients can drop off equipment, send it to us, or ask our techs to take it back to our office at no charge. We store the computers in a secure closet in our office, and then work with ITAMG to make sure that the hard drive is destroyed so your data is protected. We save some of the valuable parts from computers and servers to reuse – making them available free to other clients as spare parts or loaner equipment. Other equipment that is not obsolete is repaired, refurbished and donated by ITAMG, further reducing the amount of e-Waste. Computer waste is shredded and all unusable materials are recycled using EPA approved recycling methods.
In the United States, we throw out about 130,000 computers every day and over 100 million cell phones every year. While Stemp’s e-Waste is disposed of properly, what many people don’t know is that developed countries ship hundreds of thousands of tons of hazardous e-Waste to other countries like West Africa, China and India each year in order to avoid the cost of disposing of them properly. Large slum cities exist in places such as Accra in Ghana, where e-waste piles up in dumping grounds and people living in poverty try to harvest the valuable materials by hand without any health protection from toxic materials such as lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, and polyvinyl chlorides. The toxicological effects range from brain damage to kidney disease to mutations and cancers. Not only is there harm to people’s health through their burning and pulling apart computer parts to retrieve valuable materials, but there is also harm to the people whose information is stored on those computers as their personal and financial information is retrieved by cybercriminals from hard drives that are not erased. Here are two videos, one from CBS News 60 Minutes and the other from PBS Frontline, which show the trail of toxic e-Waste. Responsible recycling to protect both the environment and your personal privacy is part of properly managing the use of your electronics, and Stemp is proud that we help our clients properly dispose of their old equipment.
In addition to keeping toxic computer waste out of our landfills, Stemp is now also reducing the number of non-biodegradable Styrofoam and plastic disposable cups that find their way to the landfills, at least the ones that come from our office. As you may have read in our blog, we now have ceramic insulated coffee tumblers for every member of our staff. So now we can drink our coffee and tea in the office, and while on the road servicing the needs of our clients, without throwing away cups.
We’re using our Stemp wisdom to promote green principles. Go green, team orange!