What Kind Of Electronics Should You Recycle?


When it comes to recycling, electronic waste is actually the most rapidly growing stream of waste all over the globe. We know that we should recycle our electronics, but exactly what kind of electronics should be recycled?

The truth is different electronics are recycled in different ways. The recycling process of mobile phones differs from the recycling process of printers or computers. Television sets are some the most expensive electronics devices to recycle and they are recycled in a different manner than digital cameras or MP3 players. CRT TVs are considered to be the most difficult and most expensive types of television models to recycle. The process of recycling CRT televisions is also one of the most time-consuming processes, compared to that of other television models and electronic devices.

Some Electronics Are Easier To Recycle Than Others

Some electronic gadgets are designed in ways that make them harder to recycle than others, just as some are more expensive to recycle than others. Certain electronics are made up of nearly 100% recyclable materials, while others are only made up of 70 or 80%.

Cellular phones fall into the category of containing nearly 100% recyclable materials. However, the iPhone and other smartphone models that do not have removable batteries are much more difficult to recycle, making much less of their materials recyclable.

Types of Electronic Waste That Cannot Be Recycled Via E-Waste Recycling Programs

Although it is very important to recycle our old electronics, not every electronic device is recyclable through e-waste recycling programs. Certain electronics are not typically accepted at these facilities, and usually have to be recycled through some other program. You will most likely need to contact someone in your municipality to find out what the proper method is for disposing of these particular electronic items. Another option would be contacting the manufacturer of these electronics and asking what your options are for recycling them. These items can include the following:

  • Microwave ovens
  • Smoke detectors and smoke alarms
  • Fire alarms
  • Air conditioners
  • Thermometers
  • Large appliances (such as refrigerators, ranges, deep freezers, washers, dryers etc.)
  • Any non-decontaminated medical equipment
  • Units containing sludge or other liquids
  • Vacuum cleaners

What If Your Electronics Are Still in Working Condition?

If you happen to own electronic gadgets that are still in operable condition, taking these items to recycling centers is not your only option. In fact, it should probably only be considered as a last resort. If your old electronics still work, another way you can “recycle” them is to either sell them or give them away. This can be an especially good idea when it comes to those types of electronics that are not typically accepted at e-waste recycling centers.

When you no longer have a use for your working electronic device, you will almost always be able to find someone else out there who will. If you are interested in helping the environment while making a few extra dollars, you could consider listing your electronic item for sale online or in your local newspaper. Sites like Backpage, Craigslist, and even Facebook will let you advertise your items free of charge. This is another way to responsibly recycle your electronics and another way to do your part in reducing the amount of the world’s e-waste.


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