Electronic waste (e-waste) is composed of harmful chemicals like lead, mercury, cadmium, and bromine. Improper disposal of devices and gadgets can lead to these deadly chemicals to contaminate the soil, water sources, and pollute the air we breathe.
Recycling electronic products is one of the most environmentally-friendly approaches to minimizing e-waste, but recycling sometimes results in overseas shipping and eventually, dumping old gadgets in the landfill.
When electronic waste sits in a landfill, water that flows through the dumpsite picks up traces of dangerous chemicals. Contaminated landfill water known as leachate may reach natural water sources, resulting in lethal toxicity.
Toxic chemicals from e-waste can cause a range of health risks, including kidney disease, genetic mutations, and brain damage.
Evolving technology always offers new and improved gadgets. What are you supposed to do with the old ones? Here are 5 eco-friendly ways to dispose of e-waste.
Consumers can prevent this from happening by observing proper ways to recycle e-waste at the household level. Consider the following techniques for disposal:
Sell Outdated Technology
As the adage goes, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Remember this each time you’re about to get rid of an old device. There are websites like craigslist and eBay that allow you to dispose of outdated electronics while earning extra cash. You can also try putting up a garage sale.
Donate Old Technology
You can also explore the idea of donating old gadgets as they may still be useful to others. Who knows, students or a non-government organization may find your old computer useful.
Ask yourself these questions before donating old electronics:
- Is the item still working?
- If it’s a computer: Does it store any private/personal information?
Look for businesses or organizations that have electronic donation programs and find out if they accept the gadget or device that you have.
Give Your Old Gadget to a Certified E-Waste Recycler
The advantage of e-waste recycling is that you have plenty of options for recycling. We all know that a POS system increases productivity in the workplace. If you have old point-of-sale (POS) or IT hardware you need to get rid of, electronic waste recyclers help businesses dispose of broken or end-of-life POS equipment in the safest and most environment-friendly way possible.
When recycling old electronics, make sure to do the following before turning your equipment over to e-waste recyclers:
- Formal all personal information from your device before discarding
- Remove the batteries before getting rid of gadgets
Seek Recycling Programs by Civic Institutions
Gather information about possible recycling programs by your local government, schools, and universities. There may be organizations that assign a date and place for eco-conscious groups and individuals to visit and drop off outdated electronics they no longer use.
Give Back to Electronic Companies
Many electronic companies have an exchange policy in place where they take back old gadgets from past customers when they decide to purchase a new version (sometimes giving a discounted rate on new purchases).
Some recycling companies also have electronic drop-off initiatives, designating certain areas where people can drop off products like cell phones, tablets, or laptops for recycling. Ask electronic shops in your area for such initiatives.
It’s your responsibility to properly dispose of your old electronic devices. Doing so is a huge step towards making the earth cleaner, minimizing digital dumps, and protecting the environment.
Each time you upgrade your electronic devices, it’s your responsibility to properly dispose of your old one. Doing so is a huge step towards making the earth cleaner, minimizing digital dumps, and making yourself proud of accomplishing something for the welfare of the environment.
How do you dispose of your e-waste properly?
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