Do you know what happens to your old TVs or computers when you throw them out? Mario Insenga, our president and founder, shared his thoughts in a recent guest column on electronic waste in Green Lodging News. In the article Mario reviews how as hotels work to maintain high standards and keep up with competitors, the appearance of the hotel is constantly changing – and the impact on the environment. For instance, as manufacturers develop new technology, the more hotels get rid of the old technologies. Which produces around 50 million tons of e-waste a year. Some is recycled properly, but most is not.
In his article, Mario references the startling facts: “In the United States, the numbers are particularly grim. Nearly 400 million units of consumer electronics are sold per year. Relatively light regulations and recycling standards result in the production of 3 million tons of e-waste annually. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only 13.6 percent of all e-waste was recycled properly in 2007. The remaining 86.4 percent made its way into landfills, and the EPA estimates that e-waste is growing at two to three times the rate of any other waste source. The numbers are staggering, and so too are the results. Old TVs and computer monitors contain lead, cadmium and brominated flame retardants; all of which are hazardous to personal and environmental well-being.”
Developing countries are the ones suffering from our disposed electronics. According to the Basel Action Network, third world countries receive about 90% of recycled e-waste, but dispose of it improperly, therefore harming themselves and their land. It’s important to know where your e-waste is going and what is happening to it. Awareness is the first step in responsible recycling, so seek out domestic recycling companies. By making recycling a day to day routine in order to promote a long-term change, hotels can become truly sustainable organizations. After all actual green hospitality is far better than the appearance of green hospitality.
Click here to read the entire article.