3 Ways To Dump Your Old Electronics That Are Safe For The Environment

New electronics are quickly invented and sold, so it’s no wonder that abandoned TVs, cell phones and tablets are beginning to pose a toxic threat to our planet. It seem like every year a newer, better version of smartphone is released and marketed as a “must-have,” leaving our old phones to be left to sit in dark drawers, recycling facilities or landfills. This goes for TVs, computers, tablets, and a plethora of other difficult-to-dispose-of devices.

Unfortunately, most electronic appliances contain materials that are extremely hazardous to the environment, such as lead and mercury. This makes properly recycling these technological gadgets a costly job. Disposing of 1 pound of normal trash costs around $40. When we’re talking about recycling electronics, it can cost a city up to $360 per pound. This is why most cities do not offer e-recycling services. Instead, consumers often are left to fend for themselves when it comes to properly disposing of their old electronics. And sadly, most people don’t do it the right way. 

So what can be done with our old TVs, computer monitors, flatscreens and smartphones? If we wish to be environmentally conscious, smashing them to bits and placing them in the trash is not the answer. But when half the states in America do not offer government resources for the proper disposal of electronic devices, we need to be proactive and informed about how and where to lay our outdated appliances to rest.

Here are three ways to properly get rid of your old electronics without causing harm to the environment. Yes, they may be more time consuming and difficult than dumping them, but we promise that the earth will thank you for your added efforts.

Bring Them to a Community Recycler

Despite the fact that 25 states do not offer e-recycling programs, many nonprofit and local community organizations have arisen to address the growing issue of electronic waste. One group in particular, Call2Recycle, offers cellphone and lithium battery drop-off zones all across the country. Certain cities also provide electronic collection days, where you can bring your unwanted gadgets to a designated e-recycle drop-off zone. These days are few and far between, so be sure to check out collection dates at a location near you by visiting the clickable map at www.ecyclingcentral.com.

Find an E-Recycling Company 

Many large corporations now offer electronic recycling programs in order to address the growing issue of technological waste. Amazon allows people to trade-in their unwanted gadgets, from Wi-Fi routers to old DVDs. In return, customers receive Amazon gift cards in an amount that correlates with their item’s trade-in value. Best Buy offers a nationwide e-recycling program, where larger devices such as televisions and printers can be dropped-off and properly dismantled. Most Best Buy locations offer this service for free, but some may charge a small fee.

Donate Them 

It is true that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Even if you think your old flatscreen is a piece of junk, others might be willing to take it off your hands. Many community recreational centers and senior homes are often looking for older electronics to use in their facilities. There are also a handful of charities that welcome used tech gadgets, such as Dell Reconnect, The World Computer Exchange and eBay for Charity. These organizations collect undesirable electronics and refurbish them for donation. eBay for Charity, for example, sells the refurbished items and donates the proceeds to a charity of your choice. 

Unfortunately, despite the growing awareness concerning electronic toxic waste, most electronic devices end up sitting in landfills. To give you some perspective, 92 billion pounds of electronics were thrown away last year alone. This was nearly 5 billion pounds more than the year previous. Perhaps even more alarming is the fact that far less than half of these unwanted products were disposed of properly, indicating that our e-waste problem is on the rise. Whether it is due to a lack of awareness, laziness or apathy, people just aren’t taking the time to appropriately dispose of their unwanted tech gadgets.

So don’t let laziness get in the way of your green conscience. If you have been eyeing your old, broken laptop sitting on a lonely closet shelf, do the right thing and e-recycle it rather than shamefully throwing it in the trash can in the dead of the night, when your neighbors aren’t around to see.

What do you do with your old electronics? Were you aware of the amount of programs available to recycle your unwanted devices?

Stephanie Catudal

Stephanie Catudal is a mother, writer, hiker and outdoor enthusiast.  She can often be found exploring the Ponderosa pine forests of Northern Arizona, or splashing in the cool waters of Sedona’s red rock canyons with her husband and two daughters.  Steph is a holistic health enthusiast and finds strength in her personal pursuit of fitness and wellness.  She has degrees in Media, Peace and Conflict studies and is passionate about building peace both abroad and within her community.


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