Why You Should Recycle Your Electronics | Waste Wise Products

Why You Should Recycle Your Electronics

Why You Should Recycle Your Electronics

We have the recycling bins for paper, plastic, and glass, but do you have a recycling receptacle for electronic waste? Most likely, you’ll see big-ticket electronic items out on the curb–such as refrigerators, TVs, computers–waiting for the next dump truck. However, improper disposal of these electronics have many dangerous outcomes concerning the health of our community and environment. 

For one, electronic waste has many components that are poisonous to people and land, such as lead, mercury, and arsenic. In addition, there are many valuable components within electronics that can be recycled, such as copper, zinc, gold, and lithium. But as a recent article in EcoWatch demonstrates, e-waste gets shipped to other countries, where the improper and unsustainable practices of removing valuable components for money poisons individuals. And that’s if the products are recovered for recycling at all. Overall, the benefits from recycling your old cell phone, computer, TV, or refrigerator are huge, because of the dangerous environmental impact non-recycled or improperly disposed electronics create towards the Earth and other humans. 

But maybe it’s not a question on why, but a question of how you should recycle e-waste. We recommend:

1. Search for an electronic waste recycling center in your hometown or state. E-Cycling Central has compiled a list of places that will take electronic waste, from fluorescent lightbulbs to old computers. Some places will also do free pick-up, especially for bulk donations.

2. Donate your items to an organization in need. There are many organizations out there that will take electronic waste as a way to resell and fund their mission. For example, Cell Phones for Soldiers will accept used, broken, or outdated phones to resale to recycling centers, using the funds for international phone cards in order to help soldiers overseas call home, or to provide emergency financial assistance to veterans.

3. Visit a local electronics shop. Many places, especially cell phone repair stores, will take in older models to repair and resell on the market, or strip components for resale. This is a good alternative option if you have things around the house you want to get rid of, need to upgrade a device, or want to make a little money while saving the Earth.

So when you’re cleaning out your home or office, don’t forget to recycle that old cell cellphone or iPod. For more valuable recycling tips, visit our recycling tips blog.

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9 Responses to Why You Should Recycle Your Electronics

  1. I like that you said that stripping your copper can help you make more money out of it. I have a friend that has a garage full of scrap metal. I’m going to suggest to him taking it to scrap metal to get some cash out of it.

  2. Avatar Caden Dahl says:

    Come to think of it, I don’t have a bin for any electronic things that I would have to recycle. I do think that I should start doing that since as you said, there are many metals in them that are valuable. I’ll probably have to take your advice and search for a recycling place by me.

  3. Avatar Ellie Davis says:

    Thank you for suggesting you find a waste center near your hometown. My husband and I have been wanting to find a place that will allow us to recycle. Hopefully, we can find one close by.

  4. Avatar Katie Dunn says:

    I never realized that electronic waste could be poisonous! I am really glad that I found this blog post and read that, though, because I have a bunch of old computers and gaming tech that I was planning on throwing out. I’ll definitely plan on looking into a recycling center, however, but what do such centers end up doing with the equipment that is given to them?

    • admin admin says:

      Hi Katie,
      Thanks for your reply. Once the e-waste is shredded and separated at a recycling facility, these are then resold back to manufacturers around the world. This Popular Mechanics posts has more detailed information.

  5. A friend of mine has a bunch of old cables he is thinking about recycling, and we were curious about how it would benefit him. I really like that you say to research and see if the company does free pickups! It would be nice to know that you don’t need to leave your house to get things picked up.

  6. Avatar Scott Adams says:

    I didn’t realize that your old electronics could end up giving someone mercury poising. I have some old electronics that I don’t know how to get rid of. It would be smart to call a service to remove them because I don’t know how to do it properly myself.

  7. Avatar LNweaver says:

    I like that tip to donate electronics. That’s probably more reuse than recycle. Check the BBB for recycling services that can handle all your gear you could reuse or donate.

  8. Avatar Shad Morris says:

    My friend was telling me that he has a lot of old computers, and that he doesn’t know what to do with them. It’s interesting that recycling them actually helps remove valuable parts that can be reused! Since he doesn’t use them, this might be a great option.

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