Electronic waste is the fastest-growing solid waste stream in the world. Also referred to as e-waste, e-scrap, and end-of-life electronics, these terms describe electronics that are nearing the end of their life cycles and are, therefore, discarded, donated, or recycled.
The fast-paced technological advancement globally has heightened the demand for electronic products exponentially, and in order to stay competitive, electronics companies have been making more affordable electronics with shorter life spans.
Unfortunately, most e-waste is improperly disposed of. Instead, it ends up being buried or incinerated in landfills, polluting the air, land, and water, causing human health hazards, and leading to the loss of precious natural resources.
Electronic products contain a number of toxic substances hazardous to human health, with documented risks to the brain, the nervous system, the lungs, and the kidneys.
As electronics become increasingly integrated into almost every aspect of our daily lives, it is crucial that we learn the proper ways to dispose of e-waste.
Give it to a Certified E-Waste Recycler
When it comes to recycling electronics, finding a responsible recycler is extremely important. Many recyclers ship e-waste to third-world countries, where it is sent to landfills and processed manually by workers who are then exposed to hazardous substances.
There are currently 25 states with e-waste laws in place, so it is useful to familiarize yourself with the legislation in your state. Looking for certified recyclers is also a good practice.
The Basil Action Network (BAN) is a non-profit organization that aims to make e-waste recycling environmentally and socially responsible. In accordance with the United Nations Basel Convention (which restricts the international hazardous waste trade), BAN aims to ensure that e-waste is recycled responsibly instead of being dumped in underdeveloped countries.
BAN, therefore, created and now manages e-Stewards, which sets a certification standard for the best recycling practices and distinguishes truly responsible recyclers from those who just claim to be green. Members must make a pledge and display their Pledges of Responsible Recycling. As a result, working alongside a certified recycler means that you won’t pollute another nation or risk losing your personal details to criminals. You can find your nearest e-waste recycler on the e-Stewards website.
Sell or Donate Outdated Technology
As the saying goes, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. If you need to get rid of old electronics, you can make a bit of extra money by selling them or, better yet, donating them if they still work properly.
You can sell your old electronics through platforms like eBay, Craigslist, or even through a garage sale. Just make sure that you have deleted all of your personal information beforehand.
Donating your outdated technology could be really helpful to schools and charitable organizations as well. There are several organizations and businesses that offer electronic donation programs. Just think about it, a daycare center can use a gently used DVD player to play educational videos, adult literacy organizations can use working computers to effectively teach basic computer skills to students, and so much more.
Can It Be Repaired?
Before you look at replacing your electronics, consider repairing them and extending their lifespans to reduce e-waste production. This can be easier said than done.
Companies may use copyright laws in order to prevent people from using unauthorized repairers, and they often incentivize the purchase of newer computers and smartphones by creating software upgrades that can only be downloaded on newer models. However, iFixit defends the right to repair electronics. Therefore, they are working on Right to Repair laws and offer step-by-step repair guides as well as answer forums to teach people how to repair their own electronic devices.
Look For A Drop-Off Point
In many electronic companies, you can return your old gadgets when you buy a newer version, sometimes receiving a discount when you do.
Some recycling companies have set up electronic drop-off initiatives, as well as drop-off points where products such as cell phones and tablets can be dropped off for recycling. If you need information about drop-off locations, ask your local electronics shop.
You should also enquire among your local government, universities, and schools as to any recycling programs they run. Several organizations have started assigning a certain day and place where environmentally aware citizens can come and drop off their e-waste.
At Junk Boss, our mission is to make it easy for you to get rid of unwanted items like old appliances. Our professional junk removal team can properly dispose of your old electronics in the most responsible way. Contact us today to find out more about our Oklahoma-based junk removal services.