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Recycle Technologies has been delivering recycling services to the community since 1993. As a recycling and shredding company based in the Midwest, we operate licensed facilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Notably, Recycle Technologies stands as the sole Minority-Owned document destruction and recycling enterprise in the Midwest region.

Why Chemical Recycling is a Bad Call For Resolving Our Electronic Waste Problem?

December 12, 2023
The more you change, the more everything remains the same. This is what you can expect. Recycling is...

The more you change, the more everything remains the same. This is what you can expect. Recycling is not just about throwing your waste into trash. It is more about you making a difference. Many regulators are displaying how chemical recycling can make a difference to our electronic waste crisis.

But for me it is just snake oil. I mean is not it obvious that to dispose of a chemical waste product you need a chemical process. The dangers surrounding the risk this process poses to the environment are too high. That is not all, you can expect more fires. More casualties. We should stick with the process that works.

Teaching someone new tricks always turn bad. We generate the highest amount of electronic waste. Since we use them. We never fully realize the issue unless we have seen what it does. IF we followed what Carl Sagan said we could have created policies that would be beneficial to us. Right now, we have an electronic waste catastrophe on our hands. We are doing far less the reduce it damage.  

Why Mechanical Recycling is Good for Electronic Waste Disposal? 

The only process that works for recycling electronic waste is mechanical recycling. Electronic waste enters a recycling facility. It is dismantled. Sorted and each component is then crushed. Of course, there are hazards. But with proper safety measures, we can expect the hazard to be less danger to us and our teams. Sorting is the only challenge for recyclers.

Currently many companies are using manual sorting. Many suggest that machine learning can help us increase the accuracy of our sorters. That may be true but at what cost? No process is 100% secure. That is why human input is relevant to the topic. Just like Chemical recycling. On paper it will do wonders for waste streams like plastic and electronics.

But in real life it is just hearsay. Our recycling rate is far less than the countries we accuse of having an environmental impact. Our current electronic waste recycling rate is 1/4. Whereas China is ¾. They have made an economy around their electronic waste crisis. So, our policies need to change. 

Chemical Recycling is Bad Call 

The main issue that I believe exists for chemical recycling is the lie people keep saying that it can solve our e-waste problem. What are we going to do about the byproduct? As we can reuse it like we do with mechanical recycling.

We have more waste to deal with if we rely on chemical recycling. It is like we are handing out a stick of lit dynamite and a can of gas. State and Federal regulators should focus on creating policies to make electronic waste recycling mandatory. Many states have already outlawed throwing electronic waste in landfills.

A great gesture. But to make a dent in our carbon emissions we require a national policy to handle electronic waste. Chemical recycling is not a solution. It is a ticking timebomb waiting to explode in our hands. 

Benefits of Mechanical Recycling  

Mechanical recycling may be slow, but it gets the job done. Safely. We only need to show you that recycling is good for you and the environment. Reducing and reusing electronic waste helps us to create our own circular economy. An economy that is self-reliant and self-serving.

It has long-term benefits such as mining fewer virgin resources. The less we mine , the better the outcome will be. Lithium and Cobalt are two important resources that are not found in the continental united states. It is most prominently found in Africa. The cost it takes to mine these resources is high.

Our reliance on others will never end. Unless we start making a difference. There is valid reason China is ahead of the electronic waste recycling curve. As it relies less on other nations and gets the job done on its own. 

National Policy for Electronic Waste 

Electronic waste is by far the worst waste streams ever. Our recycling efforts are not putting a dent in our carbon emissions. We need to do more if we want to make a difference. And instead, we are relying on unproven techniques.

Chemical recycling is only good if the outcome is not bad. In our current situation this is false hope. It poses a greater risk to the environment and us if we still believe it can do good. There is not a quick trip to solve the waste problem overnight. If every person recycles spent electronics, then we can bring our carbon footprint to desirable levels. Reducing and reusing with recycling are the only way to help tackle this growing concern.  


Recycle Technologies is a certified Midwest recycler that provides services and solutions to the growing electronic waste problem. Our recycling facilities in both Wisconsin and Minnesota can help you reduce your carbon footprint. We also provide recycling kits that you can use to make a difference. All our kits are mail-back so when you are done with them. Send them back to us and we will gladly recycle them for you. Our pledge is simple. No electronic waste in landfills. Making a difference always starts from home. 


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