Electronic waste, e-waste, or e-scrap is the trash that we generate from broken, surplus, or old and obsolete electronic gadgets and devices. Improper electronic waste disposal can cause hazardous materials to enter our waterways, contaminate soil, and pollute the air. This not only destroys our environment but also poses health risks ranging from brain damage to genetic mutations.
There are plenty of ways to properly dispose of e-waste, though, from donating to recycling. Collectively, these practices help save tons of e-waste from going to the landfill and prevent hazardous materials from wreaking havoc on the environment and public health.
Here are four ways to help you properly get rid of your electronic waste:
Sell your old electronics
If your old electronics are still working, valuable, or there may still be some usable parts in them, you may want to sell them instead and earn some cash. If you’re an enterprise that needs to get rid of old computers, for example, a specialty electronic parts buyer would be happy to buy them from you.
You may also go to sites like Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, or even Facebook Marketplace and list your items for buyers to bid on them.
Bring it to a local electronics recycler
Another option you have is by contacting a local recycler. There are many community groups and non-profit organizations, such as Call2Recycle.org that offer recycling facilities where you drop off your old electronics.
You may also find a certified e-waste recycler by visiting the Basel Action Network (BAN) website. BAN’s certified e-Stewards follow standards that ensure responsible electronics reuse and recycling.
Find a retailer trade-in or recycling programs
Some manufacturers and retailers offer options to donate or recycle old electronics. You may check your brand’s website to see how you can participate in their recycling program. Alternatively, you may check with them to find out if they offer a trade-in or a discount.
Some examples of these manufacturers and retailers that offer recycling or buy-back programs include Apple, Best Buy, Sprint, Amazon, Samsung, and Dell.
Donate your old electronics to a cause
Your old but working electronics like laptops, desktops, or tablets may still find a new lease on life by donating them to charitable institutions, schools, churches, or non-profit organizations.
Dell Reconnect, for example, in partnership with Goodwill, provides a convenient way of disposing of old computer equipment by merely dropping off items at any participating donation center.
Before you consider donating, however, see that your device is still reliably functioning and does not require significant repairs or parts replacements. Although some organizations may have the resources to repair such devices, you may want to check with them if they can accept your donation.
One good way to reduce the amount of electronic waste is to consume less. For example, you don’t need to buy a brand new phone or television whenever your favorite brand dishes out new models. Buy only when you need it and have your broken gadgets repaired whenever possible.