Easy Ways to Recycle Electronics

Easy Ways to Recycle Electronics

Cell phones, tablets, televisions, laptops…it’s 2019 and almost everyone in the world has access to some sort of electronic device. We’ve reached the point in our society where there is an entire generation that doesn’t even know what the world was like without technology. We rely upon it for everyday use and can’t imagine what we would do without our trusty smart phone. While we’re using our current devices, the thought of the next big thing being unveiled lurks in our minds.  

Now, don’t get us wrong- technology has seen some great advancements in order to help benefit the world. It’s what happens with outdated equipment that causes a problem to arise. When you’re upgrading to the latest version of the iPhone, do you even consider what you should do with your old phone in order to properly dispose of it? If you’re like most people, that’s a thought that doesn’t even seem to cross your mind. Unfortunately, this can have a seriously negative impact on our environment. 

If you’re thinking all you have to do is toss your electronics out when you no longer have a need for them, sorry buddy, you’re just plain wrong. Electronic products contain toxic chemicals that can be seriously damaging to the environment if not disposed of correctly. Not sure how you can help prevent this problem? We’re got you covered with 3 simple ways to responsibly recycle electronics. 

Electronic Trade-In Programs

There are numerous retailers out there that offer trade-in incentives for your old devices. Simply ask your provider if they offer any trade-in options before you purchase your next device. If the answer is no, don’t despair. Retailers like Apple, Target, Amazon, and Best Buy allow you to exchange old electronics for a gift card or cold, hard cash. Not only are you helping to protect the environment, you’re receiving a monetary reward in return. It’s a win-win!

Donate Old Electronics

Another great option is to donate your unwanted electronic devices to a cause you care about. There are plenty of non-profit organizations that are in dire need of computers, phones, and other types of technology. After school programs, women’s shelters, homeless shelters…there are numerous options out there. If you’re more interested in making a local donation, call up schools, churches, libraries, and other community organizations in your area to see what types of devices they could use. One small donation can mean the world to those in need. 

Properly Recycle Electronics 

As we mentioned before, electronic products should not just be tossed in the trash. The toxins inside of these devices, like lead, mercury, and cadmium, do not belong in landfills. If your product is too old or too damaged to donate or trade-in, it’s your responsibility to ensure you recycle it the proper way. There are plenty of local organizations that assist with recycling electronics. All it takes is a quick Google search to find the right one. This helps to ensure any electronics are being broken down into their component parts (metal, glass, plastic, etc.) before being disposed of. Going out of your way to find local electronic recycling centers is the best way to ensure you’re helping find a solution, rather than contributing to the problem. 

Allow us to offer you one last piece of advice. No matter which route you choose to take, always be sure to backup your data and completely erase it from the devices’ hard drive. It would be absolutely horrible if your effort to reduce electronic waste ended with all of your personal information being stolen. It may take a little bit more time, but it is certainly worth it.  

So, the next time you’re thinking about upgrading to the latest piece of technology, think about how you can be environmentally conscious in the process. It’s really quite simple, and just by going that extra mile, your actions will tremendously benefit Mother Nature. 

By: Sydney Daly-Weber

Holly MacKinnon