In 2019, an estimated 59 million tons of electronic waste dramatically contributed to the burgeoning problem of permanent environmental damage. Unfortunately, the disastrous problem of improperly disposed of e-waste is expected to worsen. In fact, by 2030 (and possibly sooner), global electronic waste tonnage will likely surpass 80 billion.
Everyone knows that simply throwing laptops, tablets and cell phones into a garbage can is one of the most destructive actions humans can take against the planet. With the average American household today owning at least 20 electronic devices, responsible electronics disposal is critical to safeguarding human, animal, and enviromental health.
5 Easy Ways to Dispose of Small Electronics
Before you toss that nonworking tablet or smart phone with a badly cracked screen into the trash, consider the following facts:
- Ewaste contains chromium, lead, zinc, nickel and many other toxic elements that are known to cause serious health issues. When ewaste sits in landfills, these elements can leach into the soil and groundwater for as long as 10 to 15 years.
- Burning obsolete electronics is just as bad as throwing them away. Instead of chemicals seeping into the ground and water, burned ewaste emits poisonous gases into the atmosphere. Some of these gases contribute to depletion of the ozone layer and global warming.
- Decades-long investigations into ewaste toxins has found that this type of hazardous waste is carcinogenic and potentially capable of causing genetic mutations. Improperly disposed of ewaste may be responsible for rising rates of cancer, neurological disorders, asthmatic bronchitis and even reproductive problems in both humans and animals.
Nowadays, it’s easier than you think to dispose of ewaste safely, find a computer recycling center or donate your used electronics to a nonprofit company that practices responsible electronics disposal.
1. Community Organizations That Accept Unwanted Electronics
Homeless shelters, human resource departments, libraries, schools and even food pantries in your city or county often accept unwanted electronic devices that can be repaired and reused.
2. Sell Obsolete Electronics on Ebay
You might be surprised at how many tech geeks there are who collect old electronic devices as a hobby or repair and resell broken computers, tablets or laptops. That old, clunky laptop may be valuable to a collector of first generation devices.
3. Search for a Local Computer Recycling Center on Google
Electronic recycling centers like Potomac eCycle practice safe and secure electronics disposal, without harming the environment. In addition to removing and neutralizing toxic elements for reuse before destroying the device, some recycling centers provide data destruction services supported by an approved certificate of destruction.
4. Research Retail or Manufacturer Buyback/Recycling Programs
Companies that offer help with disposing of small electronics include:
- Hewlett-Packard (HP): offers free ways to recycle used toner and ink cartridges and LaserJet parts
- Xerox: offers haul away, mail-in and various recycling options
- Best Buy: runs regular in-story recycling events and online recycling opportunities
- Sprint: mail-in or in-store options for donating small electronics
- Samsung: mail-in recycling availability for mobile devices
- Staples: offers event and in-store recycling
Most big box computer and electronics companies will either accept unwanted devices or be able to provide information about how to dispose of obsolete electronics.
5. Learn How to Repair or Refurbish Electronic Devices
Cell phones are composed of only seven components: a microphone, a speaker, an LCD display, a keyboard, an antenna, a battery and a circuit board. Likewise, a laptop contains a motherboard, a Read Access Memory (RAM) and other parts that can be easily replaced when damaged. Try watching a few YouTube videos showing how to repair electronic devices and you might discover a hidden talent you never knew you had!
For more information about computer recycling and disposal of unwanted electronics, call Potomac eCycle today.