Computers and electronic devices have been integral in providing services for communications all over the world. Technology evolves at a rapid pace, and so many electronic devices are making their way to the dump because of how quickly they become outdated. Because of consumer demand for new products, landfills are constantly being filled with old electronics and is a prime opportunity for consumers to consider recycling them.
While recycling old electronics is a viable option, the fastest and easiest method to get rid of old tech is to donate it. Ask around – many students and schools are in need of functioning computers, no matter how old. A family member or friend may know someone who needs one. The National Cristina Foundation is a great resource for finding local areas that technologies can be donated to.
For more tech-savvy users, many parts in older computers can be used to build a newer computer. Building a computer can be less expensive than purchasing a new one, and will keep usable parts from being discarded with nonfunctional parts.
If donation isn’t an option, then recycling centers, and even some businesses, can help to correctly recycle electronics. Be sure to remove any batteries from electronics, as they may have to be recycled separately.
- Remove all personal information from the electronic device. On most personal devices there is an option to ‘restore to factory settings’ that will return the device back to the first time it was powered on. This also includes Smart televisions, as they may contain personal information also.
- Remove any consumer batteries from the device and recycle them accordingly.
- Find a reputable location that will receive recyclable electronic devices. Some areas will only accept certain types of materials, so call ahead to make sure.
The EPA website can help find businesses that recycle as well. There is usually a limit on how many items can be received at a time, so additional research may be needed.