How many electronics do you have sitting in your home right now? Eventually, those electronics will no longer be used and they will be thrown into the trash bin.
Over the years, you have compiled a long list of electronics. Everything from your old Commodore 64 to your first-generation Apple iPad, you have spent thousands of dollars on all kinds of electronics, and it is likely that you won’t stop anytime soon.
Electronics waste, also known as e-waste, has become a major problem for policymakers. Although we tend to toss our old mobile device in the trash or pawn off our seven-year-old computer onto our grandparents, it is important to tackle the issue of getting rid of old tech.
No matter what, it is inevitable that you will trash your 2003 laptop or 2012 smartphone. Now would be an opportune time to finally understand electronics recycling.
Here are five tips for recycling your old electronics:
1. Wipe Away Your Data on These Electronics
When you first come to the conclusion that you want to recycle, sell or trade your electronics, it is imperative to wipe away all of your data on these electronics. It doesn’t matter if your desktop computer is filled to the rim with downloaded music or your smartphone has an abundance of cat photographs, you need to eliminate all of the data inside to prevent identity theft.
Besides, we all have something on our electronics that we don’t want others to see. Wink, wink.
2. Drop Off Your Stuff at E-Waste Centres
The province of Ontario has developed a couple of e-waste programs.
For instance, if you love Canada’s most populated province, you can visit the Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) website and try to discover drop-off locations for your broken-down electronics. These centres will then proceed to properly recycle your old technology. It’s better than it heading to a landfill or a garbage facility that will simply pollute the environment.
3. Your Electronics Store Will Recycle
In recent years, understanding the problem that the environment faces, a wide variety of brick-and-mortar electronics stores take back your old electronics. They will do a few things:
- Have an in-store recycling bin for cellphones, batteries or cameras.
- Refurbish the devices and sell it to customers.
- Donate it to non-profit organizations or community centres (see below).
- One way to be competitive is to appear to be eco-friendly.
4. Try to Sell Your Stuff
Want to expand the lifespan of your electronics? It’s simple: try to sell your stuff.
Whether it is posting an ad on Craigslist or having a garage sale, you should always attempt to sell your goods for a discounted price. Remember, your smartphone or your laptop still has the power to help someone else out so you should at least try to sell it to people.
5. Donate Your Tech to Non-Profit Organizations
Public retirement homes, government schools, community organizations and a myriad of other non-profit entities will receive your old electronics. Rather than depending on Best Buy for recycling your e-waste, you can take it directly to an organization that will accept your donation.
Of course, they likely won’t want an IBM tower from 1997 with a massive monitor, but they would gladly accept a 2014 Dell all-in-one computer.
How do you determine if something can be donated? Ask yourself: if you desperately needed a piece of equipment, would you accept it? Chances are, if it’s an iPhone you would welcome it.