Tips For Recycling Your Electronic Waste Responsibly
How often do you upgrade your phone, change your appliances, and replace your electronics at work or at home? Most of us don’t think about the environmental considerations when we purchase the latest iPhone or the next-generation LCD TV, but how we dispose of e-waste has a major impact on the environment. If you’re upgrading your electronics, follow these tips to recycle your electronic waste responsibly.
4 Ways to recycle your electronic waste responsibly
Never dispose of your e-waste in the bin, and this applies to batteries as well. These items contain toxic substances that can contaminate landfills.
1. If the device is still working
If it’s a working phone or device, don’t recycle it. Maximize its lifecycle by donating it to a needy cause.
2. Find a responsible recycling service
Find a responsible recycler near you if the device is not working. Because a lot of e-waste is shipped to landfills in developing nations for sorting or burning, it’s important to check with your recycling service. Ask them how the e-waste will be dealt with, and whether they have any certifications or if they recycle in accordance with strict standards. It’s worthwhile finding one that processes your e-waste in a responsible manner, with minimal impact on human health and the environment.
3. Explore your local recycling options
Get to know the options available in your area. You might be able to drop off your e-waste or have it collected. Find out who’s accepting your old electronics, and check with the manufacturer to see if they’d take the used items back. Phones tend to be easy to recycle as recyclers will often have a free mail-in service and you don’t have to drop it off or arrange a collection.
4. Set a e-waste recycling policy
If you’re a business, have a recycling policy for your workplace e-waste. Large organizations can benefit from having a waste audit and setting targets to reduce your e-waste. You’ll want to include secure-erase processes in your policy, to protect private and confidential information.
Where possible, consume less. When you do have to upgrade your devices and appliances, make it a priority to recycle your old equipment in a responsible manner. Explore your options and find an accredited recycler or one whose process conforms to strict standards. By ensuring your e-waste is recycled carefully, you’ll support a healthier planet.
Why should you recycle your electronic waste with care?
Americans discard millions of phones, computers, and TV’s each year. E-waste includes everything from phones and computers to TVs, copiers, and scanners. Since it includes anything with battery power or circuitry or electric elements, your old washing machine, fridge, and dryer are also considered to be e-waste. It’s important to take stock of what electronic waste you have in your home or workplace and prevent it from becoming unnecessary clutter. In fact, there is billions worth of clutter in American homes, so recycling responsibility will go a long way in keeping your space clean too.
So why should you ensure you recycle your electronic waste responsibly?
4 Reasons to recycle electronic waste
1. Reduce the amount of toxins in the environment
In Australia, e-waste is sent to landfills at three times the rate of general waste and it accounts for 70% of the toxic chemicals in there. Chemicals like lead, cadmium, beryllium, mercury, and brominated flame retardants end up in our air, water, and soil if not disposed of properly. A responsible recycler will extract what can be reused and ensure what can’t be returned to the manufacturing process is safely disposed of.
2. Divert waste from landfills
Recycling your e-waste responsibly means you’ll divert it from taking up landfill space. Sending your old computers and phones to be recycled by a responsible provider saves landfill space as well as prevents toxins from being released into our environment.
3. Repurposing electronics and metals
e-waste isn’t valueless; our old electronics are filled with precious metals, including gold and rare earth metals. These take a lot of energy and resources to mine from the ground. The metal inside e-waste can be extracted and used to make batteries, jeweler, metal plates, and other electronics. By recycling, we’re ensuring these metals continue to be used rather than sitting in landfill.
4. A positive impact on human health
As landfills unleash harmful chemicals from e-waste, your old phone or computer can cause serious conditions like kidney disease, brain damage, genetic mutations, and cancer in humans. Guiyu, China, an e-waste recycling capital, has one of the highest levels of dioxins in the world and many children have lead poisoning. The health impacts can be the same if the e-waste is burned. Responsible recycling is key to prevent people in developing countries paying with their lives for our electronic lifestyles.
Linc Electricians is an electrical service provider, assisting residential, commercial, and industrial customers with our outstanding five-star service. To find out more about how our triple-accredited electricians can help you maximize the life-cycle of your electrical devices through regular wiring maintenance, contact us for a friendly chat today.