In our tech-driven world, electronic devices have become indispensable. With constant upgrades, the old gadgets tend to pile up and eat up storage space, but you can’t just throw them in the trash! E-waste poses a significant environmental threat if not disposed of responsibly.
E-waste is a term that refers to electronic devices that are no longer useful or wanted. These include things like:
- and more
E-waste can contain hazardous materials (such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and brominated flame retardants) that can harm the environment and human health if they are not disposed of properly.
E-waste comprises about 70% of toxic waste. People only recycle 12.5% of it.
So, what can you do to responsibly get rid of e-waste at your home or office? Here are some tips.
1. Understand What Makes Up E-Waste
Most people simply aren’t aware of what e-waste includes, which is a big reason that most of it ends up in landfills.
As mentioned above, E-waste includes old computers, smartphones, printers, and other electronic devices, as well as batteries, chargers, and even cables.
2. Reduce Your E-Waste
The next step is to reduce the amount of e-waste you generate in the first place. Buying only what you need, choosing durable and energy-efficient products and extending the lifespan of your devices by repairing them instead of replacing them are great ways to help reduce E-Waste.
Before buying a new electronic device, ask if it’s necessary; can more than one person share a company tablet, for example? In some cases, everyone in a family or office might not need a duplicate device.
3. Explore Recycling Programs
Many electronics retailers and manufacturers have recycling programs, or you can research local options. Retailers often collect old gadgets to ensure they are recycled or disposed of properly, offering convenient and eco-friendly programs.
Here are a couple you can check out:
- Best Buy
4. Use E-Waste Recycling Centers
E-waste recycling centers specialize in disposing of electronic devices safely. They dismantle gadgets, recycle valuable components, and dispose of hazardous materials responsibly. Locate a certified e-waste recycling center near you for proper disposal.
Here are a few sites where you can find recycling centers:
- Greener Gadgets
5. Consider Donating or Selling Functioning Devices
If your old devices are still functional, consider donating them. Many charities and schools accept functional electronics, or you can sell them online through reputable platforms giving gadgets a new life and reducing e-waste.
Make sure you properly clean data from old devices first as you don’t want someone having access to your online banking app or all your family photos.
6. Dispose of Batteries Separately
Batteries, especially rechargeable ones, contain hazardous materials. Many retailers and recycling centers have dedicated bins for battery disposal. Always separate batteries from other e-waste for proper handling.
7. Try Manufacturer Take-Back Programs
Some manufacturers take back old gadgets, ensuring responsible recycling or refurbishment. When you buy a new device, inquire to see if the electronic manufacturers offer take-back or disposal programs.
8. Opt for Certified E-Waste Recyclers
When using e-waste recycling services, choose certified recyclers. Look for certifications like R2 or e-Stewards. These certifications ensure that the recycling process meets high environmental standards, as well as data security protocols.
9. Educate Your Office or Household
Awareness is key. Educate your office or household about the importance of responsible e-waste disposal. Encourage everyone to take part and follow proper disposal methods.
10. Repurpose or Upcycle
You can often repurpose or upcycle old electronics. Turn an old computer monitor into a digital photo frame or use smartphone parts for DIY projects. Get Creative! Upcycling reduces waste and adds a touch of innovation
11. Bring Your Electronics to Haviland Broadband
If you're local to Conway Springs or Haviland, you can bring your electronics to our office for us to recycle. We have a certified recycling company that comes by regularly to pick up our used electronics. Acceptable items include laptops, desktops, LCD monitors, smartphones, tablets, computer accessories, and cables. Other types of items may have a charge associated with them; if you have any questions about acceptable items, contact us to find out more information.
Make Sure to Secure Data Before Disposal, Sale, or Donation
Before parting with your devices, be sure to wipe all data. Otherwise, you could become the victim of cybercrime. It’s not unusual for criminals to troll dumps for old electronics, so remove all traces of your data to keep yourself protected.
Use reliable data erasure software, or consult with an IT professional to securely wipe information from old gadgets. Data security is crucial even in disposal.
Get Help Backing Up & Cleaning Devices
It’s important to both back up and remove all data from devices before you get rid of them. We can help with expert data migration from the old device to the new one. As well as thorough data cleaning to ensure all information is removed.
Give us a call today to schedule a chat.
Article used with permission from The Technology Press.