Whether you believe in Global Warming or not, or whether you think humanity is damaging the environment, there is no doubt that the build-up of discarded electronics that is entering our normal garbage at the very least is causing a ‘size’ problem; at the very worst it is creating a potentially very dangerous situation with toxins entering our rivers and air, creating pollution that is harmful to humanity and the environment.
So what can I do to help the environment?
Most States promote recycling of battles, cans and paper, but have no obvious schemes for recycling electronics – you’re not supposed to put discarded electronic equipment in the garbage, but a high majority of people do, not realizing the potential harm they are doing.
Part of the problem is that people are not aware that there are many different ways in which you can safely recycle your old electronic equipment, not only keeping the environment safer, but in some cases helping out those in need.
Here are some of the top options:
Recycling Center – many local communities have a special center where you can take your old electronic equipment and they will handle the recycling – for instance, with computers they’ll take them apart, recycle all the parts that can be recycled and then dispose of the hazardous materials correctly.
eBay – the saying, ‘one man’s junk is another man’s treasure’ is definitely true. You’ll be surprised how many people will be willing to purchase your old electronics, either to re-use, to re-furbish or to take some of the parts from within the relevant gadget – so you can make some money back doing this, however there is no guarantee that hazardous waste will not end up in a land-fill somewhere.
Retailers – in order to entice you to buy their products many major electronic retailers are offering a recycling service – some do this free, other will charge you but give you a store credit for the same amount. This is generally a good way to recycle electronics as its in the retailers best interest to dispose of these items safely.
Donate – you’d be surprised how many schools, libraries or charities are looking for older electronic equipment that still works. Whether they are used to help the poor, or used in Universities to teach ‘old’ electronics, there is quite a large demand for old electronics – again though, there is no guarantee that when the equipment becomes obsolete or un-usable that it will be disposed of correctly and safely.
There are also plenty of sites where you can list your item for free and effectively help someone out.
Manufacturer – quite often the company who you purchased your electronic equipment from will offer free recycling – in some cases they’ll even give you a discount on purchasing new electronics from them – it’s definitely worth checking, and you also know that the item will be disposed of safely.
To conclude, it doesn’t take a lot of work to recycle old electronic equipment, and you will be doing a little bit to help the World’s environment – if everyone does this, then the World will be a lot cleaner for our children!