GreenDisk: a viable e-waste solution? (Guest Post)

greendisk.png(This is a guest post by Bobby Grace)
Computers are becoming cheaper and easier to manufacture by the minute. Intel’s new Atom processor is bound to create a whole new set of net-enabled devices at extremely low cost. While the processor is not out yet and prices are not set in stone, rumors price new “net-top” computers below $200.
Cheaper computers make electronic recycling all the more relevant. Computers and gadgets are being replaced more frequently as electronics become obsolete in a matter of months. Most manufacturers will take back used electronics, and there is likely some sort of e-waste collector in your area. But if you are looking for a company to responsibly handle, resell, and recycle all your e-waste from nearly anywhere in the United States, GreenDisk is a viable option.

Recycling Services
There are a few ways to recycle with GreenDisk. The Technotrash Can is one option. For a fee, you can order the Standard (up to 35lbs) or Tall (up to 70lbs) variety which includes pre-paid shipping. These bins allow you to dump nearly all types of e-waste including jewel cases, cables, cell phones, hard drives, printer cartridges, iPods, and just about every type of electronic media including CDs, DVDs, cassette tapes, etc. For smaller amounts of waste, another option is the Technotrash Pack-IT which allows you to ship your e-waste to GreenDisk in your own box. The Pack-IT fee covers the processing while you pay for shipping. Finally, Secure Computer and Component Recycling allows you to ship larger items like desktops, laptops, monitors, and printers.
Made From the Best Stuff Everyone Else Already Made
In addition to recycling all your e-waste, GreenDisk offers Jewel and SoftShell Cases made from 100% recycled materials. GreenDisk also has formated diskettes from unsold, unopened software for sale.
Recycling Concerns
GreenDisk addresses the three biggest concerns in e-waste recycling: landfill disposal, off-shore shipping, and data security, by using a network of for-profit and non-profit organizations to process materials and by generating an audit trail for all wiped data and recycled materials for all customers. GreenDisk provides a detailed document on what happens to the e-waste you send them.
GreenDisk makes their own pledge not to export or use landfills, however GreenDisk doesn’t comply to governmental standards on off-shore shipping. Why? It’s because there are none. The leading authority in monitoring toxic waste trade is the non-governmental Basel Action Network. GreenDisk has not signed the BAN E-Steward pledge, though the pledge relies solely on the honor system. If BAN were to find any offensive practices by GreenDisk, a news release on the BAN website would alert the public and cause some trouble for GreenDisk.
GreenDisk freely admits that it may not be the best option for e-waste recycling. It encourages people to use local outlets first to cut down on shipping miles. Local options may be cheaper for customers as well since long distance shipping is costly. As for data security, GreenDisk wipes hard drives to Department of Defense standards.
So is shipping your e-waste across the country really a smart option? GreenDisk certainly makes it convenient and environmentally responsible. Unlike sending materials back to manufacturers, you won’t have to sort through materials, look up numbers and mailing addresses, etc. It’s a sound option for individuals and large companies alike, though the cheapest and smartest solution is a local outlet.
Bobby Grace

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

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