According to the team of researchers at DoSomething.org, e-waste represents more than 2% of all trash in landfills throughout America. Further studies show that America’s e-waste represents more than 70% of its total toxic waste! As technology continues to evolve and change the way that we live our lives, we must become more attentive to what we do with the outdated products and waste that is developed.
Today, we are going to talk about one of the best ways to help the environment while saving money, by refurbishing electronics.
What Are Refurbished Electronics?
Let’s say that you are preparing for your first semester at college. You need a laptop computer to do your homework on, but new models cost nearly $750. But then you see it, the exact laptop you want but at a fraction of the cost? What’s this? It’s marked as refurbished?
What Does Refurbished Mean?
Refurbishing something isn’t quite the same as selling it as ‘pre-owned’, even though sellers may try that on occasion. Instead, refurbished goods are traditionally inspected by the original manufacturer to ensure functionality before the product is resold.
All refurbished electronics have been used, but not all used electronics have been refurbished. Understanding the difference will help you to save money, prevent frustration, and to ensure access to the products that you need, when you need them.
How Are Electronics Refurbished?
While it would be nice for there to be an industry-wide term for refurbished electronics, there really isn’t a set-in-stone standard that has been agreed upon. Refurbishing something, as we stated above, is simply renewing or updating an item until it is functional, approved for use, and ready to be sold again.
There is a litany of reasons for an item to get the refurbished label, and most of those are due to some level of rough use. Maybe the box was torn open during shipment. Perhaps the product inside was scratched during the manufacturing process.
Every company will have its own refurbished electronics standards. Working with businesses that maintain ethical licenses and certifications can help to ensure that your refurbished products are worth the price tag and their label.
Advantages to Refurbished Products
While it may feel nice to rip open a brand new product, especially when it comes to electronics, refurbished items have their place. In fact, with e-waste presenting such a major problem combined with the low cost of refurbished electronics, it’s easy to see why some shoppers prefer refurbished products.
Let’s take a closer look at a few more specific advantages that come along with purchasing or otherwise refurbishing electronic items like phones, laptops, and other devices.
- Reduce Destructive Waste – Landfills throughout the world are filling rapidly with electronic items that are filled with toxic materials. Lead and lithium lead the way but there are more caustic chemicals than we care to list. By refurbishing electronic items, we keep that waste out of the landfill and the corresponding environment.
- Helps Good Causes – Did you know that some electronic waste can be converted for good use? Refurbishing items like printer cartridges can be great for fundraising, as we’ve seen with companies like the Funding Factory, which exchange empty cartridges for school supplies.
- Typically Good Quality – Depending on the refurbished products you are looking to buy, they can be just as good as a ‘new labeled’ alternative. Refurbished products like video game consoles and laptops undergo pretty strict testing to ensure that they are ready to return to the market.
- Electronic Waste Is Here to Stay – In the past five years, how many new laptops and innovative phones have been released? With each release, an entire generation of products gets consigned to landfills so that shoppers can chase the next best thing. In 2006 alone, more than 14 years ago, Americans threw away more than 3 million tons of electronic products. As companies engage with clients to better protect the environment, refurbishing, recycling, and reusing electronic items seems to be one of the best paths forward.
- Affordable Prices – Much like our laptop example above, refurbished products make high-end items accessible to shoppers still on a budget. A simple refurbished label denotes little more than a discount because the item itself should have been checked for use before being released again.
Refurbishing electronics is a process that is here to stay and savvy shoppers can take advantage of that fact. If you are looking to refurbish your company’s electronic products, you’ll need professional assistance from someone like Stream Recycling.
Learn More at Stream Recycling
Stream Recycling endeavors to offer the best in secured electronics recycling and IT Asset Disposition. From down the block to across the globe, Stream Recycling serves clients with recycling services that aim to reduce risk, cost, and complexity when disposing of your secured assets. Seamlessly managing chain-of-custody in order to maximize reverse logistic solutions, Stream Recycling prides itself on helping businesses of every size and background.
Services Offered by Stream Recycling
- Electronics Recycling Logistics
- Processing (Audit, Refurb, Repair, Resale, Recycle)
- Data Destruction
- Electronics Reuse and Refurbishment
Stream Recycling is an experienced electronics recycling and IT asset and disposition company. Contact the team today to discuss your asset recycling needs.