In today’s economy, many consumers have multiple electronic devices that they keep even when they are obsolete. There are usually two locations these items go to: gathering dust in a house or a garbage dump. Gathering dust in a house adds to pointless clutter and being in a garbage dump is not environmentally sound. In fact, many electronic devices contain chemicals that end up polluting local ecosystems. Here are some, great ways to recycle your old electronics.
If the electrical device is still in good condition, owners can donate the items to local charities and organizations. These local charities and organizations typically refurbish the item, such as fixing anything that is broken in the device, and then provide these devices to people in-need. For example, if the person has a working computer that they do not use anymore, they can offer it to a local non-profit, religious organization, or an electronic re-use program run by the government. They will then offer the device to schools, libraries, emergency shelters, and other places where it can be better utilized. Donating these items often offer some tax-incentives for people as they can be written off on one’s taxes at the end of the year. A person can also know their old device is being used by a person in need, like a child that does not have adequate access to a computer with the Internet.
Manufacturer or Retailer
The manufacturer of the product or a major retailer may offer a recycling program. These programs can dispose of the electronics in numerous ways, such as refurbishing the products or recycling the items properly. Manufacturers often provide recycling services for free and the consumer can mail items to the manufacturer headquarters or local facility. Retailers often have events where they ask people to bring their old electronics and they will offer in-store credit or a gift card. Retailers may also have normal services where they recycle parts for free, such as printer ink cartridge recycling at many electronics retailers.
Many online retailers have also begun buyback programs. Consumer can sell back their items for credit to buy newer items. In return, the old electronics are refurbished and sold on the websites. The electronic items are kept in the inventory of these online retailers until someone online is interested in buying these products. This ultimately reduces the amount of electronics that could end up in dumps.
Some companies have begun to specialize completely in the electronics recycling business. Often called e-waste companies, these businesses will recycle products, including computers, in the most ecologically safe way. These companies do not refurbish the devices, instead they have complex machines and techniques that can separate the poisonous and pollution-causing agents from the device and then recycle the metal parts from these items. Profits for e-waste companies come from numerous sources. The companies often receive revenue by selling the important minerals and metals from electronics back into the marketplace. For example, some devices contain small amounts of gold and copper. The e-waste companies accumulate enough gold and copper from recycling computers and electronics to sell and make a profit. E-waste companies may also make money off of some services they offer, such as fees from picking up items from electronics owners. Done by numerous firms in NJ, computer recycling can reduce the amount of toxins entering ecosystems.
Over 70 percent of the toxins found in major New Jersey municipal environments come from computer devices. Yet, these devices only constitute 2 percent of the waste found at waste management facilities near these municipalities. It is important to consider recycling old electronic devices, like computers, when they are no longer used.