New electronics are fun and exciting, and exploring unique technology is one of our favorite things to do at Peerless-AV. However, these advancements in technology come with a major draw back – stockpiling and electronic waste. According to the EPA’s most recent e-waste report, the U.S. throws away over 142,000 computers and over 416,000 mobile devices every day! That is an obscene amount of tech-trash.
With Earth Day upon us, now is as good of a time as any to discuss the best ways to safely recycle old technology. Here are some of our top tips:
Step 1: Clear Out Your Tech’s Memory
Before throwing anything away, clear out the device’s memory and saved data. This is for your safety and privacy protection. If there is sensitive information in any of the files or documents, such as credit card details, identification, or financial data, you’ll want to make sure everything is properly erased before disposal.
Step 2: Be Aware – Your Tech is Toxic
Most cities and states have made it illegal to throw out your electronics with your regular trash. There are toxic materials inside of your electronics that should not be exposed in a landfill. The toxins inside of these products can potentially leak into the ecosystem, harming plant and animal life, and potentially our food supply.
As such, make sure you’re aware of your state’s mandates surrounding recycled technology, you don’t want to be fined for improper disposal. You can view your state’s electronic recycling programs here: http://www.recyclingcenters.org/electronics_recycling.php
Step 3: Donate to Organizations in Need
Many schools, nonprofits, and religious institutions are happy to take donated phones and old electronics. Look into your local donation spots, as well as some of the national organizations like Close the Gap, World Computer Exchange, National Christina Foundation, or Medic Mobile. All of those organizations will take your old technology off of your hands, and use them to help those in need.
Step 4: Return Device to the Manufacturer
In just Q1 of 2016, Apple sold over 74 million iPhones – when the company produces new models every year, it can create a lot of waste. Many manufacturers have taken responsibility for the e-waste, and have implemented recycling programs so that consumers can send their old products back to the company.
Some of the major companies that have these programs are Apple, Sprint, Cannon, Dell, HP, LG, Samsung, Panasonic, and Sony. Other retailers that have responsible recycling programs are Best Buy and Staples.
Each year there is approximately 41 million tons of electronics thrown away, producing a tremendous amount of e-waste and a lot of risk to the environment. Make sure you’re recycling properly to help manage this issue.