What’s Your IQ on eWaste?


Recycling is becoming more and more of everyday life for many people. However, America is well below the amounts and items we should be recycling. Especially when it come to electronics.

If any of you are like me, you will have one or two old computers from the 1980s in the attic hoping that they will become a collector’s item for your great grandchildren. The rest of my electronics have been recycled. Items such as: desktops, laptops, cell phones, video games, TVs, blenders, stoves, toaster ovens, and batteries. I even recycled an old manual can opener when I purchased a new manual can opener.

Yet, most people just trash their old electronics and appliances. Then adding injury to insult, we do so just because we WANT the newest model, not because the item doesn’t work anymore. America throws out about 300 million pounds of electronic items each year and almost 70% of those items still work! Think about the motive behind this: We WANT, not because we NEED. This poor judgement will always prevent you from becoming TRUE GREEN and always wanting, has consequences!

First we buy into the manufacturer’s “white collar” crime of building obsolescence into their products. Their cover up is them selling us an upgrade for a certain amount of time, but eventually you will want the new look or operating system.

Second, when we don’t eRecycle, our items become eWaste. Some reports tell of 50 tons of eWaste from America ending up in Landfills located in China or Ghana. Back in the early 1990s I saw this at a major university who took back all the first computers given to faculty for recycling. Newer updated computers were distributed and all the, still functioning, old computers were collected and then thrown into a dumpster. The recycling attempt dispersed very quickly for various reason. One of which was due to non-existing support at the time from manufacturers. I knew of Europe’s Dual System laws and wrote about how America was in need of more sustainable solutions. Manufacturers in Europe had to have a program to take back and recycle any product made. For example, a cell phone may average ten dollars more to buy, but that included a return label and box the customer used to mail the cell phone back for recycling. America still does not have any program nationwide to mail back items such as phones so the plastic, silver, glass, wires, and other metals can be completely recycled.

Third, landfills are closing and we have a garbage time-bomb on our hands unless we team up to make a difference.

Fortunately, several companies are stepping up and operating programs such as Cash for Electronics where you can trade in your old electronic device for some cash. Many programs can be found online. Stores like Staples, Best Buy will accept almost any old electronic item and places like Home Depot will collect used energy saving light bulbs.

Also many Townships are running STOP programs. Where on certain days they will collect various items at certain locations. Stop Throwing Out Pollutants is a program that will take items that range from batteries to cell phones, paint cans to medicine, drills to hair dryers.

There really is no excuse for not recycling anymore. There is a way or location near you!

Bill Lauto, GTG
Environmental Scientist at
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Bill Lauto
Bill Lauto is an Environmental Scientist and Energy Consultant who came on the scene in 1981 to present facts and teach details about how we can save money, energy, and our environment, without making sacrifices. His voice was one among the few who taught green facts long before anyone else talked about Going Green.

Mr. Lauto has an Environmental Science degree from St. John's University, Energy Auditor Certification from New York Institute of Technology, and Certification in Thermal/Heating from S.U.N.Y. at Farmingdale. He interned at Equitable Environmental Health that brought him to evaluate the environment at LILCO's Nuclear power plant that never opened. As an entrepreneur, he operates EnergyHotwire.com, GoingTrueGreen.com and holds a U.S. Patent with a Trademark on an environmental and energy-related product.

Mr. Lauto has done and managed thousands of energy audits for homeowners. Not one recommended a single action that implied sacrifice. He never stated once that to save money and energy one must turn down their thermostat and wear a sweater. During the 20th Anniversary of Earth Day, Bill Lauto was the Energy Advisor to the Earth Day Committee in New York. Mr. Lauto was the attending expert witness to the press conferences of former New York’s Major Dinkins and Commissioner Mark Green. His expertise has been utilized by power companies such as: the New York Power Authority and the Long Island Lighting Company as well as by Mr. Mark Green, former Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, NYC.

Mr. Lauto has served as the Environmental and Energy expert on several television news and radio talk shows. He has provided information and consulting services on topics such as: air, cooling, heating, lighting, appliances, recycling stations, solar, wind, bio-fuels, hydrogen and water to: Clearwater, Consumer Report Magazine, European American Bank, Home Depot, LILCO, NBC, Macy*s, New York Power Authority, NYPIRG, Time Warner, EPA, thousands of homeowners, celebrities, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and many government accounts.

Information about Mr. Lauto, his articles, and work have been published in newspapers across the country, including: Consumer Report magazine, Kiplinger's Financial magazine and Business Ethics magazine. Mr. Lauto has been interviewed by ABC news, the New York Times, Cable News L.I. and was in a special television home audit hosted by Al Roker of NBC, but was never aired due to breaking news.

For over twenty years, Mr. Lauto has been stating that we don’t need foreign oil, we have the technology to make America energy independent. EnergyHotwire.com serves to educate the public for free on how to lower energy cost by 60% or more, while GoingTrueGreen.com uses videos and Mr. Lauto's Blog to help dispel mis-information and provide the facts about truly Going Green.