We use dozens of different gadgets on a daily basis. In fact, in our home, we can probably find a computer, a TV, kitchen appliances, cell phones, lightbulbs, printers, and plenty of other technological devices.
While these incredible inventions make life easier for us, they don’t last forever. Most of these items need to be replaced on a regular basis, ranging anywhere from a few weeks to a few years. Some devices can last a decade or longer.
Regardless, you’ll need to upgrade, making the old ones obsolete. Technology recycling is the best way to dispose of old gadgets and gizmos, repurposing the materials into new technology.
Plus, many of these devices aren’t legally allowed to go into the trash. They contain harmful components or chemicals that harm the earth when placed in the landfill.
Wondering why recycling technology is so important, and how you can start recycling today? Keep reading to find out now.
Why Can’t You Toss Old Gadgets?
Every municipality is different and will have different rules regarding what you can and cannot throw into the garbage. But many technological devices are banned from landfills across the country.
But why is this? Take a look at lightbulbs for example. Many lightbulbs contain mercury inside of them, which makes them more efficient. While this is great while you use them, it’s not great for the environment. Mercury is poisonous and too many of these bulbs in the landfill can wreak havoc on the environment.
Batteries are another disposable item that shouldn’t make their way into the trash can. Most batteries contain chemicals and heavy metals that are poisonous to people and animals.
When tossed into the landfill, these chemicals can make their way into the land and eventually into water supplies, even after batteries have died.
As a result, we need to recycle these technological gadgets. Keep reading to discover the easiest recycling tips when it comes to electronics.
Know What Can and Can’t Be Tossed
Aside from lightbulbs and batteries, what else shouldn’t go into your trash can? Almost any type of electronic or appliance should be recycled rather than trashed.
This means that old computers, phones, tablets, TVs, monitors, cameras, and so forth should always be recycled. Kitchen appliances, such as ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, dishwashers toasters, and others should also be recycled. Many of these wouldn’t fit in your residential dumpster anyways.
When ordering new appliances, it’s best to have them delivered to your home. The delivery driver can often take your old appliances free of charge since you made a large purchase. If the appliances are still working, you can try selling them locally or giving them away to a family in need.
Many of these devices contain metals such as lead, which can be harmful when entering landfills in large quantities. Plus, much of the metal used in these devices can be recycled into future products, which is uses fewer resources than harvesting raw materials.
Thermometers are also objects that shouldn’t be tossed. These are typically made with mercury or other chemicals that should not be allowed into a landfill.
Research Your City’s Recycling Center
Your city, or the large city nearest you, should have a comprehensive recycling program in place. Many states have implemented state-wide policies regarding recycling, making it easier for residents to recycle technology.
Research the city’s recycling department to see if there is a local recycling center that accepts electronics. If so, you may be able to drive up at your will and drop off your old gadgets. Often times it’s free, though some large appliances can incur a minor fee.
Some cities will offer neighborhood cleanup days. They will bring large dumpsters and containers to a parking lot in a particular neighborhood, allowing residents to recycle all of their electronics and e-waste at one time.
Keep your eyes peeled for these events, as they often only happen once per year.
Find Local Technology Recycling Providers
Even if your city doesn’t have a program that makes it easy to recycle, there is likely a third-party technology recycling provider in your area. Some allow consumers to drop off waste directly at their facility.
Others focus primarily on commercial recycling, as large businesses have much more to recycle at one time. However, these recycling providers often partner with other local businesses to offer a consumer recycling program.
That means you can drop off your technology at these partner businesses. When these businesses have enough e-waste, they then have the recycling providers pick it up, serving our local communities and protecting the environment.
Online Technology Recycling
If all other options fail, you can try recycling your e-waste online. There are numerous companies across the country that allow you to mail in your e-waste and have it recycled.
These services cost money, and you’ll likely have to pay for shipping. So it does require something from you. But the feeling of knowing you are part of the solution, and not the problem, is worth any minor fees.
The only issue with these services is that shipping larger, heavier items are cost-prohibitive. It’s better suited to smaller gadgets, such as phones, tablets, or computers.
Make Technology Recycling Easy
Recycling isn’t necessarily fun. But with a little bit of intentionality, you can make it easy for you and your family.
One way to do this is to label a jar of zip-loc baggy, designating it for dead batteries. Each time you find dead batteries, toss them into this container rather than the trash.
Then, once every year or two, you’ll have enough dead batteries to justify the effort to recycle them either locally or online. You can do the same with lightbulbs and other small gadgets and gizmos.
May Your Efforts Be Rewarded
Unfortunately, it takes a bit more work when it comes to technology recycling compared with traditional recycling. E-waste bins aren’t provider at every home, and finding a place to drop your e-waste can be a challenge in many areas.
But considering that e-waste is growing across the country and the world, we need to actively seek to be a part of the solution, lest we not have a healthy planet to live on for much longer.
Looking for more tips like this? Be sure to visit our blog today to keep reading.