How to Minimize E-Waste
Consumers upgrade their computers, cell phones and gadgets several times per year to keep up with the alarming pace at which technology advances. But what happens to all of those old electronic devices after they have been replaced? A surprising number of them end up getting thrown in the trash. The amount of electronic waste, or e-Waste, that is ending up in landfills across the country is increasing every year. E-Waste contains precious precious metals and other useful materials that could be reused if recycled properly.
Here are some tips to make sure your electronic devices don’t go to waste:
1. Don’t Throw Your Electronics Away
The easiest way to minimize e-Waste is to avoid throwing away you electronic device. Broken devices may have useful materials in them that can be salvaged. Some devices do not belong in the trash at all as they can contain harmful materials that require additional steps to be disposed of properly. Rechargeable batteries should be taken to a battery recycling facility due to the chemicals they contain.
2. Find New Uses for Old Devices
If your device still works properly and you are simply upgrading to a more recent model, consider using your old device for another purpose. A WiFi enabled smart phone can make for a great web browsing device in the kitchen, bedroom or living room even after its functionality as a phone has ended. Older computers can be repurposed as media centers for streaming videos and music to your home entertainment center. With a little imagination, you may grow to love your old technology once again.
3. Donate or Sell Your Item
There are plenty of people who would be thrilled to receive your old electronic items. Selling an outdated computer or appliance at a garage sale or online is a far better idea than placing it in the trash and it may even earn you some extra cash. If it does not seem worthwhile to sell your item, consider donating it instead. Many thrift stores and charities accept donations of old electronic items. This ensures your old technology ends up in good hands and not in a landfill.
If your device no longer functions, recycling may be the best option for you. While some parts of your electronics may still end up in the trash, the precious metals and functioning electronic components can be salvaged for reuse. Many recycling centers can be found around the country that will help you recycle your items for free or for a small fee.
Article courtesy of ROUND2, an Avnet company.