Until the environmental-movement era unfolded following Earth Day, 1970, consumers too often took a casual approach to disposing of various household items. It may be difficult to imagine, but there was a time when they blissfully set out air conditioners, old refrigerators, and many other appliances containing climate-damaging gases or toxic chemicals for curbside pickup. Alternatives to dump-and-forget disposal were, after all, limited – that is, until regular recycling programs became firmly established in many cities by the mid-1980s.
Soon, governments and consumers began to look at ways to resolve the disposal challenges for most large appliances. Still, electronics, which contain e-waste – hazardous components, in other words – have proven particularly problematic. Fortunately, organizations and businesses have stepped up to offer outlets and programs devoted to electronics recycling. Here are some ways to dispose of those unwanted electronic goodies that you are ready to part with.
Positive Computer Donations
Desktop and laptop computers continually put out new models hosting upgrades in speed, processing power, and features. Fortunately, for the sake of the environment, consumers may tend toward waiting longer to replace aging computers than they have in the past. However, if you own a business that needs to upgrade more quickly, or if you are an individual who continually purchases cutting-edge technology, you likely cycle in new devices more often. In those cases, your computers could still function very well for those who do not need the ultimate machine.
Consider donating your computers to worthy nonprofit organizations or institutions, including local public and independent schools that, because of budget constraints, desperately need low-cost and free technology. If you do not have a vested interest in where the computers go, you can find a variety of donation options, from organizations connected to schools in developing countries to small businesses just starting out.
Good Entertainment Recycling
More and more municipalities offer recycling days for a whole range of items – including tires, paint, and other household goods. Fortunately, they continue to promote electronics recycling events specifically, often resulting in lines of cars eager to drop off their old gear.
One huge advantage to these affairs is that they usually offer one-stop practicality: Game consoles, computers, loudspeakers, and other entertainment items are fair game for drop-off. This advantage is notable for those who still own old-fashioned, heavy CRT televisions, which have become exceedingly difficult to dispose of. The disadvantage of drop-off events is that you will pay a fee to recycle many of the devices.
Sensible Smartphone Solutions
The smartphone is one item that has become relatively easy to dispose of. Some manufacturers offer mail-ins for your obsolete phone. Many big-box stores have slotted boxes for recycling. If your phone is an unlocked model, you might be able to pass it along to a younger family member needing a better-than-current phone or looking for a first one.
If the idea of getting some money in return appeals, an ecoATM offers a viable alternative. It is noteworthy that these outlets are part of a network that offers financial incentives to recycle. Then what is ecoATM? The company locates kiosks in various stores across the U.S., where you can exchange your phone for money after its worth is evaluated.
An Essential To-Do
Whatever electronic-disposal choice you make, you must make certain to clear sensitive personal information from some items first. This is especially true for computers and smartphones, but also game devices containing password information.
Thankfully, electronic recycling and renewal has become ingrained in the collective mindset. Fortunately, a number of businesses, governmental bodies, and organizations provide support when you seek to dispose of your used toys resourcefully.