It might surprise you to find out that there are more mobile phones on this planet than there are human beings. Many consumers, however, have no idea where these devices finally go when they no longer wish to use them and dispose of them. They don’t just disappear into plain sight. Electronic waste (e-waste) is electronic products that have become obsolete, unwanted, or no longer work. Good examples of e-waste include computer components, printers, computers, microwaves, and smartphones.
E-waste refers to anything that has a battery or basic cord. Because many people don’t give much thought to where their e-waste goes, you might not know any other way to dispose of it other than to throw it into the trash, and ultimately the landfills. Recycling e-waste is not entirely new, but many people may not know what is recycled. If you are one of them, this post will highlight some things that you ought to know.
1. Why it is essential to repair or recycle your electronics
The rate of e-waste is ever-growing globally, and this can be attributed to two primary factors. First, the devices and appliances made nowadays have a shorter lifespan than those made in the past. The more prevalent of these is that nowadays people want to acquire electronics with the latest technology even when their current ones are in good working condition. In the past, the Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that only about 20 percent of all e-waste is recycled.
The rest of it, the more significant percentage ends up in the landfills or incinerators. Moreover, some are exported to developing countries illegally. All these disposal methods pose a substantial threat because disposed of electronics have toxic elements, including beryllium, mercury, and lead. They all threaten the ecosystem threatening both humans and animals both on land and even in the seas. For this reason, it is imperative to recycle your electronics.
2. Places where e-waste is recycled
You can recycle your electronics at a local electronics recycler. Nowadays, there are many trusted electronic recyclers spread throughout the country and states. You can also use websites to search for a reputable recycler who is based closest to your location. Fortunately, most of them also offer collection events and pick-ups, which is convenient if you lead a busy life.
Since more people are embracing recycling, the number of recyclers keeps increasing. Unfortunately, not all of them are genuine. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that an authentic dealer is recycling your electronics. Before you take any of your electronics to be recycled, find out if there is any way to recycle or repair them. Repairing and using the device for a longer time is usually a better option. If it cannot be refurbished, you can then take it for recycling.
3. E-waste export
A significant reason why many people are increasing awareness about recycling is that it is not uncommon for e-waste to be exported to developing countries. Irresponsible recyclers send the waste the places that lack the necessary facilities to recycle safely. Moreover, at the junkyards where these wastes are disposed the underpaid employees can only salvage very few valuable components. The toxic parts are then left behind at the yards or dumped. Then they seep into the soil.
4. Erasing all your data
Before you go ahead to donate or recycle your smartphones, laptops, and computers, it is vital to ensure that you have erased all of your data. Apart from just deleting your data, you will have to wipe the hard disks entirely. It ensures that your data cannot be retrieved in the future by any other individual, malicious or otherwise. If you don’t know how to, you can pay your recycler a little extra to do it for you. They might even offer you this service at no additional charge. Lastly, there is free software on the internet that you can download to overwrite this data.
5. Most homes have a pile of unwanted electronics
Many homes have a pile of unwanted or unused devices, and yours is probably not an exception. In the e-waste recycling world, it is known as ‘the pile of denial.’ It grows with time, especially if your family is big. You will only come across these devices maybe when moving or doing a general cleaning which is when you decide to get rid of them. It is best to recycle your electronics as soon as you decide that you cannot use them anymore. They generally depreciate at a relatively fast rate. If you take a long time, all the parts might not be usable anymore by the time this device gets to your recycler.
Recycling your gadgets is good for the environment. The best way to ensure that there is less e-waste is to use your electronics as long as they are functioning. If you want to get something better after a while, you can take these to recycling centers to ensure they are still useful for their components.