How Electronic Recycling Reduces Greenhouse Gases

Recycling and Greenhouse gases

Updated October 2018

Have you ever wondered: what makes recycling “green”? Does recycling help the environment? And how does this compare to other “green” activities like driving less or planting a tree? In this post, we’ll explore electronic recycling and greenhouse gases (GHG). You’ll learn how recycling stacks up against other green activities in carbon dioxide prevention.

How Does Electronic Recycling Reduce Carbon Emissions?

When a business or individual drops off electronic waste at GreenCitizen, it gets recycled by material type. The process of recycling separates and reuses those precious metals found in electronics. This lowers the demand for metal mining and extraction, an environmentally destructive, greenhouse gas-emitting process. When in excess, GHG (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) have a negative effect on earth’s climate. They absorb and emit radiant heat, warming the planet in the process. This is why electronic recycling is so important!

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has calculated the GHG emissions that are prevented when electronics are recycled. In fact, they created a calculator that uses the total weight of electronics recycled to determine the metric tons of mitigated GHG emissions. The chart below is a handy reference to see how much GHG emissions you decrease by recycling with GreenCitizen.

For example, if you recycle 60 pounds of electronics (a heavy TV and some miscellaneous appliances), you prevent 158 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. In terms of GHG reduced, it’s equal to planting 2 trees or not burning 8 gallons of gasoline!

Electronics Recycled (lbs)Greenhouse gas emissions prevented (lbs of CO2e)Equivalent to the carbon sequestered by __ trees.Equivalent to carbon emissions from burning __ gallons of gasoline.
205213
4010515
6015828
80211211
100263313

It’s amazing how easy electronic recycling in San Francisco is with GreenCitizen. It’s just one of the many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint.

If you have any questions about recycling and greenhouse gases, give us a call at (650) 493-8700.

Written by Gwen Buckley.


One Comment on “How Electronic Recycling Reduces Greenhouse Gases

  1. All of our classes eneyjod their inspiring and hands on activities of making pots and planting them with food seedlings all in just one hour for each class workshop. The activity had many links for each class with their science and creative curriculum and with our Eco week themes. This was the highlight of our school Eco Week because it linked every aspect of our educational focus: food, transport, reduce, reuse, recycle, simplicity, co-operation; there was no preparation required on the part of the teachers and we were amazed at what could come out of two handmade baskets carried on the bus enough to provide every child with their own pot making material, the compost and a variety of food seedlings to go in it.This was a workshop of huge educational value and one which every child learnt a practical skill of immense value, as well as getting to take their seedling home to grow and eat.We are looking forward to more input another time.

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