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Definition - What does E-Cycle mean?

E-cycle is the practice of reusing, donating or redistributing an electronic item until the end of its life cycle and then recycling the item when it is no longer usable.

E-cycling is generally practiced to reduce the amount of electronic components that are discarded when users purchase new components.

Techopedia explains E-Cycle

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists e-cycle as a new term that refers to the process of collecting, distributing, brokering, repairing or reusing used electronic components without discarding them until the expiry of their life cycle. The e-cycling process allows people to reduce, reuse and recycle obsolete electronic items.

The used electronic items or equipment are called electronic waste (e-waste). Items that can be e-cycled include the following:

  • Televisions
  • Microwave ovens
  • Computer peripherals
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Mobile phones
  • DVDs
  • CDs
  • Stereos
  • Computers
In most cases, electronic items that are functional, such as computers and mobile phones, can be circulated to another person or organization. Other non-functioning electronic items can be repaired, resold and/or donated.

With technological advancements, new electronic devices replace existing ones, making older versions obsolete. Organizations have started investing in e-cycling facilities, due to technology’s increasing rate of obsolescence.
Discarding electronic devices is a serious threat to the environment because of the toxic substances involved in their components.

eBay has started an e-cycle initiative called eBay’s Rethink project to promote E-cycling. Organizations like Dell, IBM, Intel and Hewlett-Packard are also actively participating in the eBay’s Rethink project.

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