Vanbuskirk: Please recycle e-waste

Letter to the editor

Dear Editor,  

I want to raise awareness about one of the largest waste problems in the world, electronic waste.  

E-waste is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world. The world produces 50 million tons of electronic waste each year where 80% ends up in landfills or gets shipped to countries that are still growing. 

E-waste shipments occur in countries, mostly in Asia and Africa. These destinations allow uncontrolled e-waste shipments where people can sell e-waste parts; these countries have no e-waste legislation, making them attractive destinations. This can create serious environmental and human rights issues that affect the health of those working in the urban mines and their communities. A lot of times children are disassembling these electronics and become exposed to very toxic materials that cause serious developmental issues and more serious wildlife and environmental issues in these communities.  

What can we do? We should focus on making our devices last and not needlessly upgrading. Also, ensuring that you do not throw away your electronics in the trash, you can set up a free electronic collection appointment with the City of Gainesville & Gainesville IT Recycling Process so you can confidently recycle your e-waste.  

Julia Vanbuskirk, Gainesville
Zero Waste Legislative Intern, Seaside Sustainability

  • Thank you for giving us this information. I’ve seen on TV the terrible conditions these children work mining the precious metal needed for batteries, including electric vehicles. Slave labor. The air is toxic. It was heart-wrenching to watch.

  • Thanks to globalism, Dem and RINO family members skimming graft from around the world “trade deals” at the expense of American made goods, and jobs.
    I just wanted to add that intro to the piece.

  • Just out of curiosity, what version of iPhone and iMac to do you use Ms. Vanbuskirk? We have to pay disposal fees on any car battery we buy; do you support paying a disposal fee on new computers, monitors, wifi routers, cell phones, etc.?

  • Or, if you wouldn’t trust the City of Gainesville with anything to do with recycling or energy there are several commercial recycling centers around the city that will accept e-waste with no appointments needed.

    While e-waste recycling is a challenge due to its complex processes, solving the problem must include a ‘legislative’ component to address the production/profit problem inherent with sealed battery cell phones and other portable devices which comprise a large percentage of the recoverable waste.

    It will take something far more consequential than sad images of barefooted children combing through e-waste trash heaps to generate meaningful action beyond the usual $19.99 a month to the next call-to-action cause of which, maybe, 50-cents go to the actual cause.

    To add to Julia’s nice letter, try thinking about everything in any store – grocery, hardware, electronics, car dealerships, etc. – being waste in the very near future.

    That time lag between sale and disposal is shortening due to the short lifespan of consumer electronics.

    Thanks, Julia.

  • Well….
    If Gainesville’s “Corporate Horse sh#$” wasn’t so stringent on property and business taxes, and if it wasn’t impossible for the average joe to run any sort of ligit business here, and we had an e-waste buyer, much like the local scrap yards buy aluminum cans, much like Ocala and Jacksonville!, then someone could prosper with an ‘e-waste” recycling business. I KNOW! Because I’ve dismantle desktops, laptops, and mobile phones, printers, etc, and sent the different grade circuit boards and related materials to a place in Ohio. I had the big freezer bag, about half full of extracted IC chips using a Dremel, that yielded me about $90.00, and that is just one material.
    The “Rare Earth Metals” or rem’s manufactured onto the circuit boards are very valuable on the recycling market, only If you know where to sell the material.
    That is “if” you know what you are doing.
    Once upon a time, I dismantled tons of outdated electronics, and earned alot of tax free money doing it.
    The article has somewhat of a good point, but if one does his or her research, one will find that the dismantling and separation of the parts inside most e-waste (Ie. Circuit boards) is much much cleaner than say, recycling an A/C unit, or a refrigerator.
    However, they always got to put some sort of “depressing spin” on things to try to influence someone to “properly dispose of” e waste.
    Memory cards, RAM Cards, Processors, Motherboards, wiring, the metal casings, everything except, Fiberglass, wood, glass, plastic and stirofoam, has a value within the E scrap recycling market.
    I type all that to say, once upon a time at the city dump off Waldo Rd, in a city ran by idiots, if one was in legal trouble, and they owed the clerk of the court or had to do community service, they were allowed to serve their hours at the waste collection facility.
    They would dismantle the desktops, and mobile devices and separate the parts, then either the city or the county would profit off the collected raw materials.
    (Serving community service, whilst profittin the count) .
    (Ie. Free Labor)
    So, I’ll give credit where credit is due, and I get the awws, the poor kid in china just wants a bowl of ramen song the article is sangin,
    But if one finds himself or herself wanting to put in a little effort, and they really want to make some fairly decent tax free extra earnings, and help alleviate the waste problem in the process, there are joints in Ocala and Jax, that pay pretty good by weight for these materials.
    It’s actually quite the COG Logic that,
    a College Town, where there are tons and tons of outdated, and very valuable e-waste and rem materials laying around, and piling up, can’t get their foot out their a$$, and figure out logistics too capitalize on this.
    The “logic” or lack thereof, is simply appealing to me.

  • One more thing, 😁 If one does his or her research, and looks on you tube and finds the videos taken of the Chinese teenagers assembling Apple and Android products and related devices for like a dollar every two weeks, then one can legitimately sing the songs from that commercial about saving the poor abandoned and abuse animals.

  • I’d like to comment a little more close to home here and say, (and let me clear my throat)
    They got 500k to spend at Ackerman, but can’t keep the E Waste from piling up…..and the e-waste is very valuable in a alot of respects, also on relatively free enterprise market.
    The logic is just baffling.

  • >