The world is full of electronic goods of all shapes and sizes. From old computer monitors and desktop PCs to ancient cell phones and miscellaneous cables and peripherals. A significant amount of e-waste ends up in landfill sites, where it lies buried under mountains of garbage. E-waste doesn’t rot away. Instead, it leeches dangerous chemicals like lead and mercury, which in time make their way into the ground and water supplies.
It is important that consumers and businesses make more of an effort to recycle e-waste. Sure, it is very easy to dump your unwanted electronic goods in the nearest garbage bin, but for the sake of the environment, you should try to dispose of your items in a more environmentally friendly manner. Nearly three-quarters of e-waste can be recycled or repurposed in some way.
Here are a few different ways to deal with e-waste so you can do your bit for the environment.
Check whether there is a recycling centre in your local community. E-waste will be properly disposed of and any usable components recycled if appropriate.
Rent a Garbage Bin
Are you having a major clear out? If so, look at garbage bin rental. Instead of throwing your unwanted items into the trash, one piece at a time, rent a garbage dumpster and get rid of everything in one fell swoop. Waste management companies sort through commercial waste, so anything suitable for recycling is disposed of correctly, including electronic waste.
Sell Your Goods
There is a thriving second-hand market for vintage electrical goods. Not everyone is desperate for brand new items. Some people prefer to use older, cheaper equipment. Sell your goods intact, or strip items down and sell the individual components separately.
Your old laptop may not be of any use to you now you have upgraded to a Mac-Book Pro, but it does still have some residual value. Plenty of electronics retailers will accept old equipment as a trade-in. They may even offer you some money for your old laptop. In reality, old electrical goods are not worth a great deal, but retailers are happy to recycle used equipment if it persuades you to pay for a new item.
Donate to Charity
There are plenty of charities that are happy to accept old electrical goods. Working computer equipment is sent overseas, where it is given to schools in third-world countries. Old desktop computers, printers, scanners, cell phones, etc., are always welcomed. If you have any items you want to donate, contact the charity and ask them to collect, or drop them off at a local store.
Donate to the Community
If you have electrical equipment you don’t use or need anymore, ask around to see if anyone you know could make use of it. Schools are often happy to take unwanted computer equipment for kids to use in class or take apart during IT lessons.
Always clean any personal information stored on electrical goods before you recycle or dispose of them. If you don’t do this, fraudsters could retrieve information from old hard drives and use it to steal your identity.
Salman is a prolific environmental writer, and has authored more than 300 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management, sustainability and conservation all over the world.
Salman can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.