Teaching My Family Sustainability

Disposing Of Old Electronics: What You Need To Know

Properly disposing of old electronics isn't something many people bother putting much thought into. Over time, many of you have probably accumulated electronic waste in your home because it seems like too much of a hassle to get rid of properly—that old printer is collecting dust, an old camera or cellphone is lying around, and hasn't been used in over 10 years. You probably don't see the big deal in simply tossing it into the trash.

In 2013, e-waste compromised of items like old computers, cameras, keyboards, and TVs totaled close to 1.87 million short tons, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Learning how to throw out or recycle your old electronics can help protect the environment.

Don't Throw Old Electronics Into The Trash

It seems like the fastest, easiest solution, but it's also bad for the environment. Chances are that device you're throwing out can be reused, or there are parts inside that can be recycled for materials recovery.

Many electronic devices also contain toxic materials, like nickel, lead, and mercury, that don't belong in a regular landfill. Most electronics can be reused or recycled, and simply dumping it into the trash is a waste of energy consumption and potential reuse. Many options exist for you to properly dispose of your electronics, and although it may take you a little more time to get rid of them, it'll be much better for the environment.

Disposing Old Electronics Properly Is Good For The Environment

By making sure you get rid of your unwanted electronics properly, you ensure they'll be managed the right way and won't harm the environment. Because electronics contain many toxic materials, it's important to not mix them with regular garbage because they won't be handled in the proper manner. This can do harm to the environment and human health.

Valuable resources and materials like metals, glass and plastics inside many devices require energy to mine and manufacture. By properly recycling old electronics, you're able to recover these valuable materials for reuse or recycling, resulting in less greenhouse gas emissions, less energy and resources being used, and less pollution. Click for more info.

You Should Consider Donating

So, that computer or camera you want to throw out still works—it's just really old and outdated. No one could possibly want it, you think. Well, you're probably wrong. Chances are, someone out there would love to have it and use it.

Try looking for reuse organizations that you can donate old electronic devices to. Not only are you providing to someone in need, you're also helping the environment as a result. Other things you can consider for old electronics you want to get rid of: selling, recycling, or trading in.

Free Recycling Programs Exist

Disposing of your old electronics can sometimes be as easy as dropping it off at a retailer's or manufacturer's location. Businesses take back a variety devices for free recycling, like computers or scanners.