MCPC 2022 Environmental Impact

E-waste is a global environmental crisis.

Non-working, unwanted, or end of life electronic products are considered e-waste, which is a large and growing problem. Examples of e-waste include laptops, desktops, printers, copiers, TVs, keyboards and mice, stereos, smart watches, routers, modems – basically anything with a circuit board.

Less than 20% of e-waste is recycled and 80% either ends up in landfills where it can contaminate the soil and groundwater or is recycled by hand, exposing people in developing countries to toxic fumes and dust. The burden of e-waste is growing, and we are on track to reach 120 million tons per year by 2050.

Currently, the United States has no national law for managing e-waste, leaving the issue to the states, only half of which have regulations meant to control or maintain e-waste. The first state to pass e-recycling regulations was California, which did so in 2003, and New York City was the first major U.S. city to ban electronics from being thrown away.

Some of the more dangerous materials found in e-waste include:

  • Chromium – found in circuit boards and used to harden metal and protect it from corrosion. Chromium can cause DNA damage, and if it reaches the bloodstream, can cause kidney and liver failure.
  • Mercury – used in circuit boards, switches and relays and can contaminate the environment through landfill disposal.
  • Lead – found in older cathode-ray monitors and in circuit boards.
  • Nickel – found in circuit boards and electronic component casings and can harm the lungs, stomach, and kidneys as well as lead to cancer.

In addition, the “informal recycling” done in developing countries exposes workers to polychlorinated bisphenols (PCBs) and organophosphates during the dismantling and reclamation processes.

According to a report from 2019, 47% of organizations dispose of their IT assets by tossing them in with regular trash and 60% of organizations have no strategy for disposing of their old technology. (Iron Mountain/IDG 2019.)

To combat this problem, MCPC established our Secure Asset Disposition Center in 2018 to help organizations securely and sustainably dispose of their end-of-life technology and to help mitigate the burden e-waste place on our environment.

We are proud to report that our clients’ commitment to responsibly, securely, and sustainably recycling their end of life IT assets saved these resources in 2022:

  • 51,391,996 kilowatt hours of energy – Enough to power 6,473 households for one year
  • 31,035,302 kilograms of air emissions
  • 8,212,530 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions – The same as removing 11,073 cars from the road
  • 614,704 kilograms of solid waste – That’s like recycling 2,224,535 bags of waste instead of landfilling them
  • 538,848 kilograms of water emissions
  • 97,176 kilograms of hazardous waste
  • 462 kilograms of toxic materials

For the companion infographic to this blog post, click here.

We’re proud to help our clients save resources and do it securely and sustainably, but there’s still a lot of work to be done until the disposal of retired technology does no harm to the environment. MCPC will continue to be a leader in the technology sustainability movement because our mission is to secure the future of our clients and the environment.

Technology sustainability is complex but with effort, it can be accomplished. MCPC manages our clients’ entire technology lifecycle so that it is as sustainable as possible. If you’d like to learn how a tech partner like MCPC can help you become greener and reach your sustainability goals, contact us to have an introductory conversation.

We’re the Outcome Engineers. MCPC is a global endpoint management company, founded in 2002, and our approach inspires not just endpoint defense, but business offense. By protecting your devices, bringing simplicity to endpoint management complexity, and empowering employee performance, we reduce your business risk and increases digital innovation. Our consultative approach creates a true partnership where your endpoints are just the starting point.