Have you ever considered the environmental impact from the number of consumer electronics we burn through every year? Consumers typically crave the latest and greatest gadgets, sending millions of electronics to landfills as soon as they upgrade to the latest model. Only 15-20 percent of all e-waste is recycled in the US. Yet, nearly 100 percent of e-waste is recyclable.
Many of us are simply unfamiliar with effective e-waste management or how to recycle electronic waste at home or in the office. So, here’s what to do with that tangled mess of chargers hiding away in that one random desk drawer.
Keep e-waste out of landfills. Computers, mobile devices, televisions, sound systems, chargers and even household appliances are all recyclable, yet they can also be the most dangerous materials dumped inside a landfill, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When improperly disposed of, the heavy metals, plastics and glass in e-waste can pollute the air or seep into waterways. Recycling e-waste can significantly decrease the demand for mining heavy metals and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing virgin materials.
Note: Be sure to erase any personal or confidential information from your device before pursuing your e-waste recycling option.
Recycle your e-waste. A quick Google search will yield various websites that can help you find a local e-waste management solution. Your local waste management company or websites like All Green Electronics Recycling offer a zip-code search tool that will provide you with drop- off locations near you.
Find send-back programs. Many electronic manufacturers like Dell, LG, Samsung and Sony offer take-back solutions that collect cell phones, TVs, appliances and computers. These programs collect millions of pounds of e-waste that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill and use them to create new devices.
Buy less. Proper e-waste management can be as simple as taking care of your electronics. Consider a case or screen protector for your mobile device to extend its lifespan. Make wise decisions when purchasing electronics and utilize them to their full potential. '
“40 percent of consumers brought devices because they simply did not use or want the item and 39 percent because they had upgraded. Rather than upgrading at every new product release cycle, make more strategic electronics purchases. Put off the upgrade until your existing electronics truly outlive their usefulness.”
Sims Recycling Solutions
Donate electronics. Recycling e-waste can also be accomplished in the form of donations. Shelters for victims of domestic violence, children’s safety groups and even classrooms in developing countries benefit from the donation of electronics. And in many cases those donations are tax deductible.