Common Recycling Myths

November 25, 2013

plastic bottle cap recycling
photo via Flickr

 
As widespread as the environmental movement has become, there is still a large amount of uncertainty and confusion surrounding the recycling industry. So in the interest of dispelling a few common myths, we’ve compiled a short list of misconceptions about recycling alongside the truths of the matters.
 
Lids and caps have to be removed from bottles before they can be recycled.

This was true in the past, but recycling facilities are perfectly capable of handling caps and lids that are attached to bottles, so no extra care needs to be taken to separate them.
 
It’s better to put electronics in the trash than in your household recycling bin.

Electronic devices should not be mixed in with all of your other household recyclables, but they should not be thrown in the trash, either. Because they need to be handled separately, there are a number of retailers and manufacturers that offer programs for disposing of unwanted electronics.

But perhaps the most beneficial way to get your unwanted electronics off your hands is to sell them to CJ Environmental. We responsibly recycle electronic devices and pay you for the precious metals that they contain.
 
All unused prescription drugs should be flushed down the toilet.

According to the FDA, you should first check the drug labels and accompanying patient information for specific instructions for disposal. Sometimes flushing them down the toilet is the best option, but that is not always the case.

If no specific instructions are included, your next step should be to check if a community drug take-back program exists in your area. Finally, failing those two options, prescription drugs can be thrown in the trash—but care should be taken to make pills appear unappealing and unrecognizable by throwing them out with things like kitty litter or coffee grounds and putting them in a sealable container to prevent leakage.

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The Psychology of Recycling

September 4, 2013

Crumpled Paper

photo by *_Abhi_* via Flickr.com

Would you think twice about dropping a torn piece of scrap paper into a trash can as opposed to recycling it? How about a full sheet of standard notebook paper? An entire newspaper?

Researchers from the University of Alberta have found that the more damaged something appears to be, the more likely people are to throw that thing away. Co-author of the study Jennifer Argo explained that “people are psychologically hard-wired to believe that products that are damaged or that aren’t whole—such as small or ripped paper or dented cans—are useless, and this leads users to trash them rather than recycle.”

Changing the Way We See Our Trash

Interestingly, the same ripped pieces of paper were recycled 80% of the time after participants were asked to use them to perform a creative writing task, the implication being that once the paper was given a purpose, it was then understood to have a value that warranted recycling.

The full results of the study are set to be published in December, and Argo hopes that her research will inform policy and even product design decisions. She believes that if packaging can be kept more intact once it has been opened, then people will be more likely to recycle it than if it had been torn to shreds.

CJ Environmental Makes Recycling Easy

At CJ Environmental, we want to help you make the most of your old and broken gold and silver jewelry, your electronic scrap, and your unwanted cell phones. Instead of either throwing it in the trash or letting it take up space in a closet or drawer, you can sell your precious metals and electronic scrap to us. We will take care of recycling everything in an environmentally friendly manner for you, and you will get cash in return. For more information on how to start selling your precious metals and electronic scrap for cash, request a quote today.

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How to Offset the High Cost of Electronics

August 7, 2013

Money Spent on Technology

photo by Andrew Magill via Flickr.com

 
A recent article in Yahoo! Finance estimated that the average household spends in excess of $3,000 a year on costs associated with connectivity—that’s cable, Internet, cell phone plans, etc.—not including the actual cost of the devices themselves. And while those prices have been following a downward trend across the past few decades, when the aforementioned monthly fees and the frequency of replacement are factored in, it becomes clear that we tend to spend more money on technology now than ever before.

It’s not unlikely that you’ve owned more than 3, or even 5, cell phones in your life, have multiple televisions in your home, and have gone through a series of upgrades from clunky computers to more streamlined laptops. New features and enhanced functionality often make these new device purchases feel unavoidable, and it’s understandable why you wouldn’t want to fall behind the times.

So while perpetually spending money on new technology may be a necessary evil of sorts, there are a few ways to offset the cost.

1. Sell your old device before you buy a new one.

There’s no reason to create clutter by keeping outdated and unused electronics lying around—especially when you could be collecting money for them instead. At CJ Environmental, we specialize in recycling electronic devices and refining precious metals. Your old computer hard drives and cell phones will be recycled for reuse in future devices, and you can use the check you receive as payment for your upgrade.

2. When you can, buy used or refurbished.

Products sold as refurbished are those that have been previously returned for any reason—from those whose boxes were damaged during shipping to those that were used in sales display demonstrations. These devices are all tested and repaired if necessary before being resold to the consumer at a discount.

3. Look for bundle deals.

Whether you use the same service provider for your Internet and cable TV subscriptions or choose to buy the laptop that comes with a free printer, many companies offer discounts for those customers who are taking advantage of more than one of their services.

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Auto Recycling: A Model for All E-Scrap

July 8, 2013

Cars Ready for Recycling

Cars ready to be shredded and recycled (photo by dave_7 | Flickr.com)

by Amber Zhai

Every year, approximately 12 to 15 million vehicles reach the end of their useful life cycles. Fortunately, according to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, about 95 percent of those retired vehicles are recycled—and the auto recycling process is surprisingly efficient.

The Process

Upon arrival at an auto wrecker or junkyard, a vehicle will first be inspected for viable parts to be sold. Once stripped of valuable parts, the rest of the vehicle will enter the recycling process. First, all toxic substances must be removed from the car, so fluids like antifreeze, oil, gas, and Freon from the AC have to be drained, and the battery (which contains lead and battery acid) has to be taken out and recycled separately. The tires are then removed, and a machine is used to crush the remaining frame and interior for easier transport.

The crushed cars are then sent to shredding plants by the dozen, where they are sent through a huge shredder. The metal remains are separated into ferrous and non-ferrous metals and auto shredder residue (ASR), which includes materials like plastic, fabric, wood, and rubber. While the metal pieces are melted down into new metal to be used for manufacturing new cars and other products, companies have had to be more innovative in coming up with ways to use the less valuable ASR so they don’t end up in landfills.

For example, tires are often used for playground and highway construction, and windshields can be recycled into fiberglass insulation, concrete, and even products like lamps and countertops.

Setting the Bar for Electronic Scrap Recycling

In the end, 90 to 93 percent of a vehicle is generally recycled, serving as a model for all other e-scrap recycling. While e-scrap recycling participation has jumped to 72 percent in 2013, according to Resource Recycling, advances in recycling and upcycling e-waste will still have to make significant leaps in order to catch up with the rapid pace of consumption of electronic devices.

You can start helping the environment today by selling your electronic scrap to CJ Environmental. We’ll recycle everything for you, and you’ll get cash in return. Go to www.CJEnvironmental.com for more information.

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May News Round-Up

May 31, 2013

This month’s environmental news takes a look at the past and the future of environmental awareness and reports both scientific advancements and political setbacks for renewable energy.

“Scientists look to plants as source of clean energy”

Researchers from the University of Georgia believe they have developed a way to make solar energy more effective by mimicking the photosynthetic process of plants. Study co-author Ramaraja Ramasamy believes that their approach may one day allow us to generate cleaner and more efficient power from sunlight with plant-based systems, rather than continue to chase finite fossil fuels.

“Joe Farman, ozone hole discoverer, dies at 82”

British scientist Joe Farman, who discovered manmade damage to the Earth’s ozone layer over Antarctica in the 1980s, has died at the age of 82. Not only did he expose a leak missed by even NASA satellites, but his groundbreaking study, which was published in 1985, also launched a new era of international eco-politics.

His discovery also spurred the Montreal Protocol, an environmental treaty establishing protocol for protecting the ozone that was ratified by all 197 members of the United Nations.

“Wisconsin: 100 millions of e-waste recycled”

Since the installment of an e-waste recycling program three years ago called E-Cycle Wisconsin, state officials say that more than 100 million pounds of electronic waste have been collected statewide. Wisconsin’s “urban mining” program sets an inspiring example of environmental consciousness for the rest of the country and the world.

“Is it time to bag the plastic?”

New York Times environmental reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal compares some American cities, particularly New York, with the rest of the global community in terms of plastic bag bans. While much of the world has prohibited or installed a tax on plastic bag use, New York is woefully behind on this environmental issue.

The city of New York pays $10 million annually to send 100,000 tons of plastic bags tossed in general trash to landfills in other parts of the country.

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Norway Needs More Trash

May 15, 2013

by Alex Francis

Oslo, Norway

photo by EOS1982 | Flickr.com

While most places are struggling to deal with an ever-increasing production of waste, Oslo, Norway, has quite a different problem: they don’t have enough of it.

Nearly half of Norway’s capital city, including the majority of its schools, depends on the energy produced by burning garbage to heat their buildings. In fact, all of Northern Europe has the capacity to convert up to 700 million tons of waste and counting into heat and electricity every year—but it only produces roughly 150 million tons within the same time frame.

That leaves the area with a significant amount of potential for energy production, but without enough resources (read: trash) to fuel it.

The Complexities of the European Waste Market

It almost isn’t proper to refer to the area’s garbage as “waste” anymore—cast-off refuse has actually turned into a desirable commodity throughout Northern Europe, leading to a growing European waste market.

Because the capacity to incinerate garbage is so high in Northern Europe, countries in the surrounding areas have begun sending their trash across borders. England has begun exporting its waste, and shipping trash to Norway is actually cheaper for the British than paying the tax to send it to the landfill. Oslo itself is the happy recipient of garbage from England, Ireland, and Sweden.

But, unfortunately, not all garbage is created equal.

Naples in Southern Italy is currently facing a garbage crisis of sorts (their dumps are full to capacity and trash is being left uncollected in the streets), but Oslo refused to accept their trash, choosing instead to continue importing “the cleaner and safer English waste.” Naples was thus forced to pay cities in the Netherlands and Germany to takes their waste off of their hands.

The trash in Oslo is meticulously sorted, with glass, food waste, plastic, and other garbage going into different colored bags. They are now looking to import more garbage from the United States in order to keep up with energy-production needs.

Help Mitigate the Production of Waste

Whether the United States starts exporting its garbage to Norway or not, you can start keeping trash out of landfills today by responsibly recycling your cell phones and other electronic waste with CJ Environmental. Precious metals are finite resources, and it is important to reuse and refine them as efficiently as possible. Visit www.CJEnvironmental.com to learn more and find out how easy it is to help.

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Green Citizen Keeps Electronics Out of Landfills

January 5, 2013

by Alex Francis

Electronic ScrapPhoto by U.S. Army Environmental Command | Flickr.com

James Kao is intimately familiar with the desire to always strive for the latest and greatest in technological innovations—after all, for twenty years, he was one of the people behind such advances. But after spending two decades working in the software business, Kao was appalled and angered by the sheer amount of old computers, televisions, and similar gadgets that were ending up in landfills overseas.
 
Time for Change
 
His wake-up call came when watching a documentary about landfills in China, Africa, and the Philippines that were filled with old electronics that contained toxic chemicals from the United States and Europe.
 
So he left the software industry and founded Green Citizen, a company in California’s Bay Area that collects and disposes of unwanted electronics. But what makes Green Citizen’s efforts particularly commendable is its dedication to tracking everything that comes through its doors, ensuring that all of the electronics it collects are recycled back into raw materials, refurbished, or resold.
 
When discarded gadgets arrive at Green Citizen’s warehouse, they are examined by technicians to discern whether they can be fixed or must be scrapped. The devices that can be refurbished, which amounts to about 21% of all electronics received, are then resold on eBay. If a device is beyond repair, it is taken apart, sorted into bins for plastic, circuit boards, glass, and other base materials, and sent to be recycled back into raw materials. The bottom line is none of the electronics collected by Green Citizens end up in landfills.
 
Protect the Environment by Recycling Responsibly
 
Kao estimates that 80% of electronic waste created in the United States is shipped overseas to developing countries where workers extract core minerals with little to no regard for environmental safety precautions. By recycling your unwanted electronics with CJ Environmental, you can rest assured that all applicable EPA standards and guidelines are being followed and your devices will be either reclaimed or recycled accordingly. For more information on how to earn cash and protect the environment by selling your unwanted electronic devices or other precious metals, contact CJ Environmental today.

Is Apple Contributing to Electronic Waste?

September 7, 2012

Apple and Electronic WastePhoto by: Dan Taylor | Flickr.com

Apple’s products are everywhere; they let us listen to music, call our friends, and browse the Internet with ease. On top of being user-friendly, all of Apple’s mobile devices, since the 2003 release of the third-generation iPod, have used a 30-pin port. This standardization made it easy to mass-produce docks, alarm clocks, and other devices to be compatible with iPods and iPhones alike.
 
TechCrunch reports that soon, however, Apple plans to make use of either a 9- or 19-pin port on a new version of the iPhone. While this switch would save precious space inside the phone, it would also render countless accessories that are currently in use and on the market obsolete. It would force consumers to choose between refraining from upgrading to the newest iPhone or saying goodbye to their previously compatible products.
 

Old vs. New Ports

 
With a push to buy new products on the horizon, we are left to consider what will happen to all of the devices out there that have a 30-pin port. The first iPod with a 30-pin port was introduced in 2003, and TechCrunch estimates that since then Apple has sold over 610 million such devices, not including an addition 45 million accessory docks.
 
Clearly, the introduction of a new connector will inevitably shake things up. But will there be a backwards compatibility option to keep the 30-pin port relevant? Or will those devices be left to go the way of the dinosaurs in this ever-changing tech world?
 

Looking Ahead

 
In any case, Apple’s plan to move away from 30-pin ports has the potential to cause a significant surge in the production of electronic waste. Old iPods would no longer be desirable, and old docks would no longer be useful. It will be interesting to see how the technology industry and consumers handle repercussions of the introduction of Apple’s new, smaller port. The new iPhone will undoubtedly sell, and the rest of the industry will have to react.
 
It does not have to develop into a bad situation, though. Instead of considering their old products to be useless and sending them off to a landfill, individuals would also have the option of trading their old iPhones and accessories in to a refiner for cash. With the introduction of their new port, Apple has an opportunity to raise awareness for the environmental damage that throwing away electronics causes and promote the electronic scrap recycling industry. CJ Environmental refines and recycles electronic scrap in accordance with EPA standards. For more information on how not to let your old electronics go to waste, visit CJEnvironmntal.com.

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Inadequate E-Waste Disposal Threatens Home and Abroad

April 27, 2012

Health officials are growing increasingly concerned over the effect that Guatemala’s lack of proper electronic waste management services is having on the environment. Demand for electronic devices has skyrocketed in Guatemala, and the country now has more cell phones than people.

Inadequate resources for electronic waste management result in unwanted electronics being dumped in landfills and rivers. Toxic waste experts say that the majority of the public is oblivious to the dangers of electronic waste, and they are unaware of the devastating effects that dumping unwanted electronics can have on both ecosystems and public health.

Improper disposal of electronic waste leaches toxic substances such as mercury, arsenic, selenium, lead, and chrome. When these substances pollute water sources they can have dire effects on those that consume the water, such as infertility, miscarriage, brain damage, cancer, and fetal genetic defects. The absence of public awareness of these side effects only contributes to the problem.

Cell Phones E-WasteThe average cell phone can pollute 50,000 liters of water, and in a country that has over 20 million cell phones and only 14 million people, the potential for toxic waste pollution is staggering. The constant production of new technology is only pushing people to upgrade their products sooner, and electronic consumption rates are the biggest factor in the prevalence of e-waste.

While Guatemala does have some private companies and non-profit organizations that collect and export electronic waste, the country has a desperate need for further resources. Waste management experts believe that one of the biggest factors in reducing Guatemala’s waste rates is to educate people about the danger that electronic waste poses to their health, as well as the environment. Legislation with clear rules outlining the proper disposal of e-waste is another big factor in keeping toxins out of the environment.

Electronic waste poses a huge threat to public health and the environment in Guatemala, but the situation in the U.S. is still far from ideal. Huge rates of electronic consumption mean that Americans have to be proactive about proper e-waste disposal if they want to keep toxic waste from polluting the environment.

The good news is that in the U.S., electronic waste recycling is both eco-friendly and profitable. E-scrap buyers pay cash for certain electronic parts, so if you have old electronics lying around, you can really cash in. CJ Environmental is one of the biggest e-scrap buyers in the U.S. Our refining processes are both safe and effective, ensuring that you’ll always get more for your electronic scrap with CJ Environmental.

 

For more info on the state of electronic waste in the U.S., check out this link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/electronic-waste-refining

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States Move Against Electronic Scrap Waste

March 20, 2012

The electronics industry is always making new advances and putting new products on the market. Consumers are constantly upgrading their cell phones, computers, televisions, and mp3 players to the latest and greatest products, but rarely do they think about where their old products are going. If an item is particularly old or broken, it might be instinctual to simply throw it out, but most electronic items contain elements that are harmful to the environment. If electronic waste is improperly disposed of in a landfill, it can leach toxins into the ground, polluting water sources and damaging ecosystems. The large amount of electronic waste generated in America means that pollution from electronic waste could potentially devastate our environment.

Many state governments are addressing the threat that electronic waste poses to both public health and the earth by developing laws to stop the damage. But these laws vary considerably across the United States, and many of them are ineffective. Some states prohibit dumping electronic waste but fail to provide an easy and free way to recycle it, prompting residents to illegally dump their waste. Others have programs where they outsource to private electronic waste recycling companies, but while many of those companies are legitimate, several just ship the waste off to third world countries. Shipping electronic waste to developing countries causes even more destruction to the earth, because they don’t have the means to properly dispose of it.

Recycling electronic waste is not only helpful to the environment, but also very lucrative. Many electronic items contain gold, copper, or silver, and with just a little technological know-how, you can make major cash for electronic scrap. Market prices are high for precious metals, and the overabundance of electronic waste means that people who are harvesting metals from old electronics can make huge profits while they’re going green. There are many online tutorials that explain how to harvest electronic scrap from old or broken electronics, so with just a little research and practice, you could be headed straight to the bank.

If you’re looking to get cash for electronic scrap, look no further than CJ Environmental. We pay you the most cash for your electronic scrap, satisfaction guaranteed. Shipping is always fast and free, and our quick turnover rate ensures that your check will be in the mail before you know it. Our expert refiners are able to extract the most precious metal from your scrap, which means more money in your pocket. CJ Environmental complies with the Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for recycling, so you can rest easy knowing that our recycling process is up to date and eco-friendly.

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