How many outdated electronics do you have hanging around in your home? If you’re like many Americans, that number is probably high. In the average American home, you will find hundreds of thousands of items!
Sometimes we just don’t know what to do with old, outdated, or broken electronics. Should we throw away old electronics? Should we try to recycle them? What is the protocol?
When you decide that you’re getting rid of broken electronics, you should do your best to do it in an environmentally friendly way. Keep reading this guide to learn how to safely dispose of or upcycle old and broken electronics.
What Is Electronic Waste?
Electronic waste is any unwanted, old, unused, or broken electronics like TVs, laptops, desktop computers, tablets, printers, keyboards, mice, and phones. Think about how often technology changes and how often people upgrade their phones. What happens to all of the electronics that no longer serve any purpose?
Besides filling up your drawers and eventually landfills, why is electronic waste a problem? The heavy metals they contain can cause toxins to leach into the environment when they end up in landfills. Things like mercury and lead may contaminate our air and soil and these toxins may seep into our groundwater.
What Should We Do With Our Old Electronics?
Let’s look at some of the ways to handle the disposal of electronics we no longer find useful.
Consider each item you have and ask yourself some questions. Is it repairable? Is it still in working order? Would someone else find it useful?
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, you have a couple of options to keep them out of the garbage. You can take it to a repair shop or upcycle it through donation. There are many organizations that will take your unwanted electronics. Another option is to recycle if it’s beyond repair or unusable.
One way to prevent toxic chemicals from getting into the environment is to bring your electronics to a recycling center. You may be able to find a local recycling site by doing an internet search.
Check around and find one that meets the strict environmental management standards. You want to make sure that the hazardous materials are properly disposed of.
You can check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) site for information on local recycling options. Best Buy has a recycling program that allows you to recycle three items per household per day.
Check out this website to learn more about a family-owned, full-service computer & electronics recycler.
Getting Rid of Broken Electronics
Now that you know your options when it comes to getting rid of broken electronics, you can purge old electronics as you do your spring cleaning. Some of them may even get a new life through recycling and upcycling programs.
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