How To Recycle Electronics
“For every million cell phones we recycle, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.”
How Do I Recyle Electronics?
Did you know that the average American household has twenty four gadgets? Australians own thirty million cellphones alone, and in the UK, each person buys three electrical products every year. Not only are the sales of electronic devices escalating rapidly, people are disposing of their gadgets more frequently, and after shorter periods of ownership. The race to get the “newest best thing” is causing people to toss their electronic equipment sooner, and the environment is at risk due to improper disposal of e-waste.
Electronics are comprised of many valuable resources that can be extracted and reused, such as metals, plastics and glass. Not only does recycling e-waste conserve natural resources, it helps prevent air and water pollution and stops greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere. Recycling just one laptop saves the equivalent of 3,500 American homes powering their houses – for a year! But how can we recycle electronics responsibly?
How to Recycle Electronics
One way to handle electronics responsibly is to simply make smarter choices about what you buy. Instead of getting a new computer or cellphone, consider upgrading the hardware or software. If you must buy a new product and want to recycle your old one, make sure that you delete all personal information off of your device, and remove the batteries from your gadget – they might need to be recycled separately.
One option for recycling electronics is to return your devices to the manufacturer. Apple may give you a gift card to the Apple store for returning your products, will many other manufacturers have free drop off centers where you can leave your old gadgets for free. Dell features a mail back service, where you can print a pre-paid FedEx label for your old computer.
LG will show you how to recycle your electronics with a list of drop off sites online and free packaging for recycling. Samsung, like Dell, will print out a return label so you can ship your equipment back for free. Sony is currently partnered with drop off locations across the country, and will send you a pre-paid shipping label if your package is less than twenty five pounds.
How to Recycle Electronic Gadgets and Smaller Parts
Light bulbs, as you may not have known, are considered electronic waste. CFLs and florescents contain mercury and need to be disposed of properly. Home Depot and Ikea will both take back these light bulbs and deal with them productively. The website Call to Recycle has a list of locations that will take back used batteries, which also need to be recycled. Printer manufacturers will often take back printer cartridges you are done with.
Knowing how to recycle electronics is essential in today’s world. More than 70% of collected gadgets can be recycled. Make a difference in your area, pitch in, and dispose of your electronics responsibly.