As convenient as they are, most electronics are not built to last forever. With everyone wanting the latest phone, tablet, or laptop, so many gadgets are being tossed away at an alarming rate. Whether your smartphone gives up on you or you just want an upgrade, don't dispose of it just yet (and definitely do not toss it in your usual garbage can)!
In the age of technology, recycling your electronics has never been easier. Huge corporations like Apple even offer incentives for turning in old devices for a new one. For certain items, you can receive major discounts on brand new electronics when you turn in your old model for recycling.
There are endless advantages to electronics recycling, both individually and for the greater good. Consider these advantages when debating what to do with your outdated devices:
It is actually detrimental to the environment to not recycle your electronics. Electronics contain extremely hazardous materials like arsenic, lead, and mercury. If it is disposed of in the trash, or even like a standard recyclable item, it can end up in a landfill. This could lead to dangerous chemicals seeping into the soil and ending up in your water. You should let an e-recycling professional handle your devices, as such professionals can ensure that they dispose of the devices in a way that won't lead to harmful leakages.
There is already far too much e-waste in the world. According to the UN environment program, 90% of the world's e-waste is illegally disposed of or dumped each year. This negligence can lead to huge environmental destruction.
When you recycle an electronic device that is in relatively good shape, it will go through a reuse center and eventually is in the hands of someone else. If you are someone that loves to keep up with the latest phone trends, and you have a perfectly functioning phone from last season, consider recycling it. Your slightly used phone, if electronically recycled, could go to someone in need (be that an underfunded school or a soldier overseas).
Electronic recycling can help reduce greenhouse gas levels. If more electronics are recycled, then fewer will have to be produced. That results in fewer materials being used, which in turn means fewer pollutants in the air. Cleaner air translates to a healthier life for all.
Electronic devices contain high levels of precious metals. When these devices are just thrown away, that means that the majority of those precious metals just go to waste. These are not metals that we should be 'throwing away.' It is estimated that they are 40 to 50 times richer in value than the ores that are mined from the earth. By recycling your electronics, you greatly increase the chances of these metals being recovered for reuse.
Additionally, when you choose to recycle your electronics, you can rest assured that your personal information will be secure. By simply throwing your device away, you are greatly increasing the chances of a security breach. That's because you do not really know where a device you toss in the trash will end up; it could fall into the wrong hands. Professionals with e-recycling experience know the proper protocol and can help you transition your data from your old device to your new one.
E-Recycling: Worth It for the Earth (and More!)
As you can see, recycling old electronics has many advantages, both short- and long-term. When you recycle those old phones and laptops, you can rest assured that you are doing your planet a favor.