By Brianna Sneller, AGI Farmobile Contributor
New technologies are released every year; so many it is hard to keep track of all the new products. According to an article written by tech.co, 20 percent of startup companies fail within the first year and 50 percent within four years leaving a lot of product waste behind.
Worldwide, technology generates an estimated 40 million tons of electronic waste (electronic devices, cellphones, notebooks, game consoles and their components) every year. But only 12.5 percent of e-waste (electronic waste) gets recycled.
Like other sectors, precision technology is crucial to advances in the agriculture and food sectors. But, Earth Day begs the question: how can companies (and individuals) help to reduce the amount of e-waste?
The right recycling partner matters.
AGI’s Farmobile data technology team has taken an active role by securing e-recycling options. The Farmobile PUC™ device, which has gone through several hardware upgrades, is a state-of-the-art data collection device that is, basically, electronics encased in a weather-resistant, highly durable plastic case designed to withstand the rigors of farming. While its footprint is reasonably small, like all electronic technologies, it has recycling challenges.
“AGI’s Farmobile data collection technology is mostly cloud-based; therefore, our potential for e-waste is reasonably small. Still, we were determined to find a company, which specializes in responsible electronics recycling. We found a great firm with R2v3 and ISO certification,” says Chris Schibi, chief technology officer for AGI’s digital operations in the greater Kansas City area.
Schibi says it was important to find a recycling partner who could responsibly reduce the environmental impacts of safely retiring old or inactive Farmobile hardware. The selected partner offered a full complement of electronics recycling services including information technology asset disposition and data destruction services.
Through the relationship, last year, AGI’s digital team was able to 100 percent recycle its retired data collection devices. That included over 1,973 pounds of plastic materials and miscellaneous e-waste such as wires, boards, and more.
Basically, devices were de-manufactured. Components were separated (circuit boards, plastic, and metal) and sent to a properly vetted downstream vendor for further processing. Metals and circuit boards were smelted into raw materials for new manufacturing, and plastic was shredded, pelletized, and made available for new manufacturing.
On Earth Day, it’s something to consider.
Technology plays a vital role in advancing agriculture’s ability to meet the world’s changing food and feed needs. In this case, AGI Farmobile’s data technology empowers farmers, as well as ag retailers and other trusted partners, to document the farm’s story about crop production, stewardship, and practice improvements. And – just as agriculture gives back to society – its everyone’s responsibility to aid in recycling technology to effectively reduce environmental impact.
Together, we can make a difference – one product at a time! For tips on how individuals can recycle e-waste (cell phones, etc.), visit EPA.