Technology

3 Great Ways to Recycle Electronics

It is a generally accepted rule that most electronic devices are upgraded every year. This is great news for technophiles who look forward to playing with the latest gadgets, but it is also detrimental to the environment because the old gadgets are being thrown away at monumental rates. The increase in e-waste, which is the informal name given to obsolete electronic equipment, is a serious problem because it can also lead to a number of health issues. For example, the toxic chemicals in old electronics, such as cadmium and arsenic, can seep into the water supply. These chemicals are known to cause cancer and other harmful diseases in the human body. However, you can personally eliminate your contribution to the rising tide of e-waste by taking some steps to recycle your old electronic products.

Repurpose

A good way to increase your old technology product’s life cycle is to find a new use for the item. For example, you don’t have to throw away your old smartphone because you purchased a shiny new model. Most smartphones have a large variety of features that are not dependent on a cellular plan. Depending on the model, you can use an old smartphone as a makeshift home security camera, to control your smart home system or as a portable gaming system. Similarly, many other electronic products can also be repurposed because of their multiple features.

Donate

Instead of trashing or selling your old technology, consider donating them to people and organizations in need. While you may think that your old television does not have enough pixels to enhance your viewing pleasure, there are many people who would appreciate the device. There are numerous charities, businesses and government organizations that will take your old technology products and distribute them to the right people. For example, many major technology retailers have technology donation programs that accept donations in their retail locations. Additionally, if you are having a problem finding a home for your old products, you can always use an online platform to find people who can use your items. For example, you can use the Free section of the craigslist.com website to donate your products. However, make sure to completely erase your personal data before you give away your old items.

Recycle

Recycling your old technology is also another effective alternative to increasing the amount of e-waste in your local landfill. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, recycling consumer electronic devices reduces water and air pollution, prevents greenhouse gas emissions and conserves natural resources. In addition, recycling recovers a wide variety of valuable materials from electronic devices, including plastics, glass and precious metals. For example, 35,000 pounds of copper can be recovered from one million recycled cellphones. Check your local town, city or state authorities for the electronic recycling options in your area.