Promoting Digital Equity
Digital equity is the idea that all people should have equal access to digital technology. Currently, in the United States, there are 5 million households with school-aged children who do not have access to the internet. More than 75 million people in the United States are not connected to the Internet. Disproportionately from low-income and minority communities, these populations remain isolated from our digital society and miss out on opportunities.
Cascade partnered with municipalities, non-profit technology organizations, and several enterprise customers on projects to offer high speed affordable Internet service and donated, refurbished enterprise-grade equipment to over 350 households in the Madison and Milwaukee areas.
More companies can help address this gap by donating a portion of their high quality computer equipment to similar programs. Through a new digital equity program run by e-Stewards and the EveryoneON initiative, Cascade can manage the donation process while ensuring all corporate data is first destroyed and non-working items are recycled properly.
The cost of environmental noncompliance
Nationwide retailer Big Lots will pay more than $3.5 million to settle accusations that it improperly landfilled electronics and hazardous waste. The company reached a civil settlement with 35 district attorneys from throughout California. Prosecutors accused Big Lots of failing to properly manage and dispose of materials at its 206 California retail stores and its Los Angeles-area distribution center. Employees allegedly sent e-scrap, corrosive and ignitable liquids, toxic materials and batteries to landfills that weren’t authorized to accept those materials.
Also, a California judge approved a $1 million settlement with Dollar General stores over charges that the company sent scrap electronics, batteries and other materials to improper landfills.
The US Department of Justice is also conducting active investigations on a number of electronics recyclers they believe fradulently misled customers to think they were responsibly managing their electronics. One e-scrap executive from processor Zloop was recently found guilty of consipracy and fraud charges.
It pays to know where your electronics go and that you can be confident (through a certification program like e-Stewards) that your equipment is processed legally and responsibly. Cascade provides full transparency to our customers about how and where their equipment goes until final disposition. Learn more about our programs and ask for our detailed Self-Audit Packet to see for yourself.