The Baltimore City Department of Public Works recently allowed a contract to lapse, leaving city residents with no way to dispose of electronic waste responsibly. Department spokeswoman Jennifer Combs said in an email that she thought the contract “expired.” It is unclear what happened, but Combs did not give any details on the reason for the contract’s expiration.
According to an agency spokesperson, the lapse occurred over the summer with a vendor tasked with repurposing discarded electronic devices. Though public works crews are still accepting electronics and the department is working to mend the issue, several residents were turned away from city sanitation yards and told to throw their items in the trash.
As technology continues to impact daily life, responsible e-waste disposition is becoming more critical. Consumers must understand why it is too dangerous to throw away electronics with municipal waste.
Almost all electronics today are manufactured with Lithium-Ion batteries, known for their explosive nature. When LIBs overheat, are punctured, or are damaged in any way, it causes a thermal runaway, and the battery will explode. LIB fires can also cause chain reactions if they are near other lithium batteries, and chemical fires are more difficult to extinguish than regular fires.
Electronics are made with metals like gold, silver, aluminum, copper, tin, and lithium that can become toxic when sent to landfills. When electronics are left in landfills for long periods, the metals will leak harmful chemicals, which soak into the soil and can pollute the surrounding water supply. This can cause fatal health issues for residents drinking the contaminated water.
IT asset management and disposition facilities like HOBI collect retired IT assets and ensure they are disposed of properly. HOBI is an R2v3, RIOS, and ISO-14001 certified ITAD enterprise with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. Our skilled professionals are trained to remove batteries with care and use special tools to ensure no damage is done to the device or battery.
HOBI focuses on maximizing economic return and mitigating environmental liability with electronics recycling. Recycling retired IT hardware helps prevent them from ending up in landfills and helps protect human health as well as the environment. For this reason, it is important for cities to maintain recycling program contracts and provide responsible e-waste disposal solutions to residents.
For more information about our ITAD services, call 817-814-2620 or contact HOBI at email@example.com.