Leaving dated, damaged or non-working electronics on the curb, or tossing them in the trash can for the garbage man to pick up might sound like a good idea, but it’s not the most environmentally friendly nor is it safest option.
Old electronics, such as, televisions, DVD players, VCRs, cell phones, alarm clocks, video games, cameras, and laptops contain heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury and lead which can leach into the ground. This is damaging to the environment.
A Growing Problem
The typical American family own 24 electronic devices [Source: Consumer Technology Association]. At any given time, however, this number may grow or decline. As these products break, they are often replaced with newer models, although it’s not uncommon for people to upgrade some devices annually when the newest flagship hits the market.
2.4 million tons of electronic waste (e-waste) can be found in our landfills. Because landfills are not designed to receive e-waste, the chance of hazardous wastes being released into the environment is higher, and the opportunity to recover precious metals (e.g., aluminum, copper, gold, and silver) in these devices lower.
A Better Choice
A better alternative is to donate it for reuse or drop it off at a recycling center. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers many reference tools, from directories of local and government supported drop-off centers to manufacturers’ mail-in recycling and trade-in programs; found on their website. Companies like YouRenew.com will even pay you to recycle your old devices.
Before Donating or Recycling, You Should:
- Determine if the device can be fixed
- Delete all personal information from your devices
- Remove any batteries and/or hard drives from your devices
- Contact your local recycling facilities, ensuring they accept the device you wish to donate or recycle
Recycle Your Electronics Benefits
There are several benefits to recycling your electronics, including:
- Creates jobs
- Frees up landfill space
- Protects the environment
- Conserves natural resources
- Helps others (by donating)
For additional ways you can help the environment, while saving energy and money, we encourage you to read our blog monthly or visit us at www.ahelectric.com.