Everyone knows the situation with electronic waste is getting out of hand, but most folks don’t know how to dispose of old electronics or assume it’s a complicated process…so they mistakenly heave them into a dumpster. That’s why in this article we’ll briefly take a look at the three core ways to get it done right.
Have the Electronics Professionally Recycled
According to relatively recent numbers provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for every one million smart or cell phones recycled by American consumers – 35,274 pounds of copper, close to 800 of silver, 33 in palladium and yes, over 75 pounds of GOLD can be recycled. Most are shocked by the gold, but it’s common. For example, in 2015 Apple said it re-captured 2,204 pounds of gold from recycled devices.
The point here is that just because electronic devices aren’t working anymore (or at least not properly or up to consumer standards) doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable. They are! Unfortunately, they also contain highly toxic substances as well which we don’t want in landfills or getting into groundwater or soil – lead, mercury, cadmium, etc. They need to be handled carefully, along with the precious metals, rather than just being tossed into the trash.
For most, all it takes to find a good electronics recycling program is a quick internet search and perhaps a phone call. Some will even come to your home and pick everything up free of charge.
Find Someone to Donate it To
Fact: many people throw perfectly good electronics away because either a) they don’t want to bother having the devices repaired when they act up, or b) they really just want to upgrade devices. If this is the case, it’s a much more responsible (and personally rewarding) to donate the items to a growing number of charities, non-profits, recreation centers, libraries, companies who partner with e-waste treatment programs, and so forth. Four such organizations to check out are:
- Dell Reconnect
- The American Cell Phone Drive Organization
- The World Computer Exchange
- eBay for Charity
Check with the Manufacturer & Retailer
As environmental issues become more concerning by the year, large retail and manufacturer brands in tech are kicking their recycling programs into high gear. A good place to look is the EPA website’s section on Electronics Donation and Recycling where you can search by brand. Some examples include:
- Hewlett Packard (HP): Offers free recycling for ink and toner cartridges, LaserJet parts and supplies, and more imaging equipment options.
- Best Buy: Offers mail-in, haul away, and event recycling options for mobile devices; online recycling options and more for personal computers (PCs), etc.
- Staples: Allows you to recycle PCs in their store and through their events.
And that about wraps it up. Those are the three primary ways, and it’s reaching the point where most of the time folks can either have them picked up at home, or drop off old electronics at retail establishments when they go buy new ones. Disposing of electronics responsibly is easier and easier to do, it’s just about educating consumers on just how easy.
If you need help disposing of your home’s junk, our team is ready to assist! Reach out to us today by filling out our team’s online contact form! We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with your junk removal needs!