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The Truth About EPA ID Numbers

The Truth About EPA ID Numbers

If you have been looking around, you may notice that some electronics recyclers advertise the fact they have an EPA ID number.  What is it, and should it influence your decision for making a choice in electronic recycling centers?  I want to take a few minutes and explain what an EPA number is and what it means.  It seems a bit misleading when you look at the fancy symbol or hear someone tell you their facility has an EPA ID number.  It sounds like it means the site is ultra-environmentally friendly, but…

An EPA ID number is used to identify hazardous waste generators, transporters, treatment, and storage and disposal facilities.  It is not an endorsement of a clean, environmental facility, and the EPA does not issue certifications for electronics recycling.  The EPA uses the ID number as a way to keep track of the businesses that deal with hazardous waste.  When it comes to recycling electronics, none of it is considered hazardous waste in the State of Florida.  Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT’s) can be considered hazardous waste if they are collected stored beyond a certain amount of time.  If an electronics recycling center is collecting and storing CRT’s for an extended amount of time, they aren’t doing the right thing with them.  Some batteries must be managed as hazardous waste, falling under the universal waste regulations, but as long as they are not being stored for an extended amount of time it is not counted toward the facility being classified as a generator.  As far as electronics recycling goes, the following States are the only States that count electronics as Universal Waste: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey.

So why do some electronics recycling centers have an EPA ID number?  Maybe they don’t understand what it is.  Maybe they are storing material like CRT’s and batteries.  If they are storing material like that, are they really recycling and doing what you expect a recycler to do?  Finally, maybe they know that the majority of the public doesn’t understand what an EPA ID really means and uses this misperception as a marketing tactic.  I think most people would understand the EPA ID number to mean the facility is EPA certified, but as I mentioned, the EPA does not certify electronics recyclers.  Don’t let the deception fool you when you need to make a choice in an electronics recycling center.


View from the Garbage


So here I am, three months into my new electronics recycling business.  I feel like I am on the cusp of taking over Jacksonville, Fl and St. Augustine, FL.  I have these dreams of becoming the premier electronics recycling center in North Florida.  Heck, I want the Jacksonville, FL market to be my stepping stone to the South East.

I know, I am getting way ahead of myself.  Keep my feet on the ground.  Focus on computer recycling one day at a time.  I have my moments at least.  I haven’t had a chance to get out and market for three weeks now.  Things seem to be going pretty well, but…

Every Sunday evening, I ride my bike through my neighborhood with my family and I am reminded of the challenges I am faced with.  See, Monday is trash day and everyone puts their trash out on the curb Sunday evening.  Riding by I see all the electronics, computers, monitors, etc. in the trash.  Where it doesn’t belong!  Why?  Do people not know?  Is it easier to do the wrong thing?  I am reminded of how much work I need to do.

As someone trying to make my way on my own by trying to build an electronics recycling company, I am disheartened, but driven by all of the material I see in the trash.  How do I get these people to recycle their electronics instead of throwing them away?  How do I get them to care enough about destroying the data on their hard drives instead of letting enter the waste stream?  These are just a few of the questions I need to figure out how to answer in order to become a successful electronics recycling company.

So as I continue to grow and have the ability to increase my marketing budget, I want to reach out to more people.  I want them to know the problems old electronics create in landfills.  In a world where we are facing global warming, and finite resources responsibly recycling computer and electronics should matter.  They just don’t belong in the trash.  It’s easy for someone to say they care, but acting seems to be much harder.

Sensible Recycling was founded to make computer and electronics recycling easy.  If you live somewhere near Jacksonville or St. Augustine, call us.  We will come to you, free of charge.  Electronics don’t need to go in the trash, because we will pick them up.  Feel good as the electronics are responsibly recycled, you are helping keep the environment clean, and you are supporting a local business.