Electronics Can Be Recycled Too!
Wait! Before you close the door on all the Spring cleaning you’re doing, be sure to include those no longer used electronics taking up space in your home. The old mobile phones, computers, TVs, telephones, printing equipment, and audio and video devices can all be recycled.
There are so many good reasons why you should think about recycling your home electronics too. As with other recyclable materials, recycling electronics saves energy, reduces pollution, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves resources by extracting fewer raw materials from the earth.
Also, many of these devices are made using metals, plastics and glass that can be recaptured to produce new products. This allows companies to reuse these items to make new salable ones. Apple company executives say last year alone they retrieved $40 million worth of gold after they recovered and reused materials from old devices.
Broken Electronics, a Billion-Dollar Industry
Recycling electronics also benefits our economy by creating businesses and jobs that cater to the recycling process and industry. Globally, the recycling industry is worth $500 billion. In 2011 American firms exported so much recyclable wastes it translated to nearly $40 billion in American pockets.
Recycling electronics saves the environment from destruction of natural habitats, over-filling of landfills and pollution. When recycling is not a priority, trees used to make things are not replaced at a rate fast enough to benefit the environment anymore, or sometimes they’re not replaced at all. Marine life suffers incredibly when plastics from things like water bottles and cosmetic cases find their way into our lakes, rivers and oceans. When electronics are disposed of improperly, the chemicals lead, mercury and cadmium can leak into the soil, polluting it as well as the atmosphere.
Options for Disposing of Old Electronics
There are many options for finding places that will recycle your old electronics. Earth911.com is a United States-based online service that allows you to enter your zip code to find the nearest recycling center in your area. Often, companies that accept recyclable electronics will give you the option of dropping your items off at the facility or scheduling a pick-up for you.
Also, many cities across the globe have recycle days where residents can call local city offices to get all the information they need.
Before you decide to recycle, however, you might consider repairing your home electronics first. Not sure how? Search to see if you have a local Repair Café in your town or area.
- Consumer Reports: How to Recycle Old Electronics
- Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment: Why You Should Recycle E-Waste
- SOCRRA: Top 10 Reasons to Recycle
- Repair Cafés: Putting New Life on the Menu
- New York Post: 5 Things That Will Blow Your Mind About the Recycle Industry
- Movement Blog: The 12 Most Astonishing Things that Harm Sea Turtles
- Energy Saving Actions | Marion Institute
- Earth 911: Have something to recycle? Find out how and where!