Advancements in technology have increased the size and the number of electronics that we use. Televisions keep getting larger, computers are getting more advanced, and cell phones are commonplace in most households across America. The technological improvements in our electronics have left us with some things that are obsolete: gone are the days of heavy tube televisions and computer monitors. Many of these older televisions and monitors don't even support new technology, like Blu-ray or DVD players.
Disposing of electronics is not as easy as simply throwing them out with the trash or leaving them in the recycling bin. It actually takes some work to get rid of electronic equipment, which is why that old television might take up permanent residence in your basement. Although it may take a little bit more effort than recycling your milk jugs, disposing of your old electronics doesn't have to be a huge hassle.
What is e-cycling?
E-cycling refers to the reuse or recycling of electronic devices. Your television, computer, cell phone and even office equipment contain valuable materials that are recyclable. Plastic, copper, gold and glass are examples of some of the recyclable materials found in these devices. Electronics also contain toxins that are bad for the environment, such as mercury and lead.
Why bother e-cycling?
Recycling electronics is important so that the valuable materials do not go to waste and so that the toxins stay out of the environment. It helps conserve resources, cuts back on pollution, and reduces the amount of greenhouse gases. While there are no federal mandates at this time that require these items to be recycled, around half of the states in the USA do have laws that require it. Many of these states actually ban old electronics from the landfills.
What are my options?
You can't just leave your old television on the curb or take it to a large recycling bin. You do, however, have several choices.
- Try to "reuse" your old electronics by donating to a non-profit organization. Many organizations will take your working electronic devices and put them to good use. This is good for the environment and for society.
- There are many places that are designed specifically to take old electronics. These are sometimes referred to as "e-cyclers." Most of the time you will have to load up your old device and drive it to a drop off location. Before making that haul, be sure to call and double check that they will accept your offering. Once they receive your old equipment, they will dispose of it properly.
- Some electronic stores will accept your old electronics. They may even offer you a small amount of store credit.
Talk to experts like General Waste Removal for more information.