You may be a master of recycling your plastics and paper, but what about your old electronic scraps?
In today’s world, everyone goes through dozens of phones, computers, game consoles, and other devices in their lifetime. What do you do when you upgrade your device and don’t need your old one anymore?
E-waste must be disposed of properly so it doesn’t harm the planet, but most people don’t know that it can be recycled. In this guide, we’re going to break down why we should also recycle our old electronics, and how.
Why is E-Waste Bad for the Environment?
The most important thing to remember is that our retired devices never disappear. If old electronics are thrown in the trash and sent to a landfill, they release toxic materials into the environment.
Those dangerous materials include lead, mercury, beryllium, and polyvinyl chloride. They pollute our air and leach into our waterways, which harms both humans and animals.
We can prevent the detrimental impact of e-waste in a couple of ways. First, try to use your devices for as long as possible. Avoid the allure of upgrading to a new one every year when your current one still works just fine.
Next, you can repair your old device to extend its life. If your device still works, or it has valuable parts you can take apart, another way to keep it in circulation is to sell it. You can list the entire device or its parts on eBay or Facebook Marketplace to sell your electronic scraps for trash.
When your devices are finally ready to be retired, the best thing you can do is recycle them so that the parts can be reused.
This prevents them from ending up in a landfill and leaching toxic waste, and thankfully, it’s not that hard. Let’s look at exactly how you recycle electronic scraps next.
How to Recycle Electronic Scraps
As awareness about e-waste grows, more and more e-cycling services are popping up. The first place you can look is your city’s waste management website. There may already be e-waste recycling centers provided by your municipality that you can use.
If your city doesn’t have any e-waste recycling options, there are major chain stores that have drop-off options. For example, if you have old Apple products, you can return them to be recycled at the Apple store. If your device still works, they may even give you a gift card for it if they find it valuable enough to resell.
BestBuy and Staples also have electronic recycling programs. You can take any device to them to recycle regardless of where you purchased it from. If those options don’t work, a quick Google search will pull up recycling places where you can mail your devices to get rid of electronic scraps.
Final Thoughts on Electronic Scrap Disposal
No matter how you reuse, repair, recycle or resell your electronic scraps, the most important thing is that they don’t end up in a landfill. It may take some extra time and research to do electronic scrap disposal the right way, but the environmental impact is worth it.
For more tech tips and resources, check out our other blogs.