E-waste is the collective term for all those old mobile phones, laptops, and other discarded electronics that get tossed in the trash. While E-waste might only make up 2% of the amount of trash in America’s landfills, it amounts to 70% of toxic waste.
If you’re looking to make a positive change in the world then why not start to recycle old electronics? If you’re wondering how to do this, then we’ve got you covered. Here’s a step-by-step guide on recycling electronics.
Donate for Reuse
The easiest way to recycle your old electronics is to donate them for reuse, providing they’re still functional or repairable. There are loads of charities and non-profits that will happily take them. If you can get a receipt you’ll also be able to claim it against your tax return.
Find a Recycler
If your electronic devices are beyond repair then you should look for a responsible electronics recycler. Unfortunately, not all recyclers are as responsible as others. Some will simply export them and they end up being dumped on developing nations
The best way to find a reliable electronics recycler is to look for recyclers that are a part of the e-Steward network. These recyclers will not export old electronics and tend to reuse what equipment they can.
Manufacturers’ Recycling Programmes
If you can’t find an e-steward and you’re wondering where to recycle old electronics in your area then don’t panic. Most manufacturers offer technology recycling. Check with your manufacturer to see if they offer a voluntary takeback program. Some will even offer money-back or allow you to trade your old product against a new one.
Mobile phones are the easiest thing to recycle. There are a number of nationwide companies that offer a free service where you simply post your old phones to them free of charge.
Depending on the model and condition of your phone, they may even offer cashback for your mobile phone.
Check With Local Retailers
Several retailers including Staples and Best Buy offer free recycling on several electronic products. There are usually some items they won’t take, so check with them first. You can also check the recycler that the store works with to make sure they’re responsible recycler.
Protect Your Personal Data
One very important part of recycling your old electronics is making sure that you protect your personal data. If you’re recycling an old computer or a mobile phone make sure that you wipe the memory before you hand it over. If you’re not sure how to do this, most recyclers will offer to do it for you for an additional fee.
You’re Ready to Recycle Old Electronics
The toxins in our electronics such as lead and mercury mean that it’s paramount that we don’t just throw them in the trash. Follow these steps on how to recycle old electronics and do your bit to protect the planet. You might even make a few dollars for doing so.
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