In 2019 alone, the world generated a whopping 53.6 million metric tons of electronic waste (e-waste). Unfortunately, not even a fifth of that went through official collection and recycling. The majority still waste away and choke landfills and illegal dumpsites.
What’s even worse is that improperly disposed of e-waste is toxic to living things. They also poison and pollute the environment.
For those reasons, it’s time you learn the proper methods for recycling electronics. This guide lists the best practices for getting rid of electronics, so be sure to read on.
Delete Your Data From Old Electronics
According to https://www.e-wasteonline.com/about/, it’s vital to erase data before disposing of electronics. For starters, this helps protect you from the risks of data breaches and theft. After all, electronics are full of sensitive info that hackers can steal.
If you don’t get rid of data from old devices, you can become a victim of identity theft or fraud. Both are huge problems; data breaches alone victimized at least 300 million people in the US in 2020. In the same year, identity thieves looted $11 billion from a single state: California.
So, before taking your electronic devices for recycling, delete all the data you have in them. The easiest way to do this is to restore them to factory settings.
Single-use batteries, such as double and triple-A, 9V, and D-cell, are often okay to throw in the trash. However, most other types of batteries require separate disposal. These include rechargeable lithium batteries, like the ones in phones and laptops.
You need to take those batteries out and place them in individual containers. You can then take these properly packaged phone or computer parts to a battery recycler.
Work With an Electronics Recycling Facility
All states have facilities that specialize in recycling electronics. Many cities even offer free e-waste disposal programs to their residents.
You can also reach out to your state or city sanitation department. They can help you find a certified electronics recycler near you. Certified facilities passed tests proving they use safe and responsible electronics recycling methods.
It’s vital to work with a certified recycling body to make sure your e-waste doesn’t end in other countries.
Take Advantage of Brand or Retailer Recycling Programs
Many tech brands, such as Apple, LG, and Samsung, run recycling programs. For instance, Apple offers free device recycling to their US customers. The Cupertino giant even offers trade-in credit programs for qualified products.
Other companies, such as BestBuy and Staples, also accept old electronics for recycling. BestBuy even accepts defunct devices that consumers didn’t buy from them. Staples also has a free recycling program and even rewards points to folks who sign up for it.
Start Recycling Electronics the Safe and Responsible Way
Since the average US consumer owns 11 connected devices, chances are you own this many, too. That’s why it’s vital to learn the proper methods of recycling electronics. Otherwise, your e-waste may end up undocumented, or worse, in a dumpsite in another country.
So, as early as now, follow our tips on responsible recycling practices.
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