How to Dispose of Electronics

Electronic devices have become an integral part of how we live, more so, our small, portable, and smart mobile phones that we carry everywhere we go. In fact, there were about 1.9 billion cell phones bought in 2015, according to Gartner, a tech research company. In the long run, these devices ultimately become obsolete and turn to electronic scrap, leading people to look for how to dispose of electronics in a green and eco-friendly way.

According to the United Nations, of the 41.8 million tons of electronic waste that was dispensed with in 2014, only between 10 to 40 percent were discarded in an eco-friendly manner.

Why is this important? Firstly, because of the useful components and materials that can be recycled such as metal, glass, and plastics. An example is Apple. The company said it recovered 2,204 pounds of gold worth $40 million through its recycling processes in 2015. While there’s value in electronic waste, they also contain harmful materials such as mercury, lead, and cadmium that must be discarded conscientiously.

Manufacturers Take-Back Program Image - AGR

Make Use of a Retailer’s or Manufacturer’s Take-Back Program

It is not uncommon to find manufacturers and retailers that run programs that encourage recycling. Sprint is a good example of where to recycle electronics with their Buyback program offering account credits up to $300 irrespective of the carrier. HP, Epson, and Canon also have programs encouraging recycling of their products.

Buy-back programs are obviously a good answer to the how to dispose of electronics question, yet they aren’t without their limitations. Often times, buy-back programs are targeted at individual consumers of personal electronics, leaving corporate organizations stranded in their search for eco-friendly ways of disposing of electronics carrying their confidential information.

Consider Donating Your Unwanted Electronics (But There’s a Catch)

There are numerous charities or non-profits that will eagerly take your electronic gadgets – whether they are in good working condition or otherwise. A great starting point is to make a list of local recreation centers and organizations for senior citizens and inquire about their needs. Ask for a receipt, as you may be able to add the donation as a deductible on your tax returns for the next year.

While giving your used gadgets to charity is certainly an answer to the question of how to dispose of electronics, doing so can also put you in danger of data theft – particularly if the gadget has ever been used for business purposes. First off, what kind of confidential information did you store on the gadgets? How would you feel if the next person that accesses your device had access to your contacts, email credentials, private photos and videos, and even your search history? In fact, if the electronic device was used to carry out activities for your business, then this option of donation could be illegal.

Dispose of Electronics by Recycling Image - AGR

How to Dispose of Electronics by Recycling

To date, laws mandating organizations to recycle their disused electronic devices have been passed by 25 states. Irrespective of where you live, however, there are secure and non-toxic ways to discard electronic scrap. Electronic waste recycling is a system of handling and disposing of an electronic device as soon as their ‘useful life’ elapses.

The end goal is to get rid of your IT assets and electronic waste like computers and printers in the best eco-friendly way while maintaining and keeping your privacy and security. For this to happen, you need a data destruction company with the requisite skill set, systems, and verifiable industry accomplishments to ensure your electronic waste end up in the right place – not shipped overseas or to a local landfill. All these are done while meeting state and federal requirements regarding electronic waste management.

That’s what we are all about at All Green Recycling. For more information on how to dispose of electronics in conformance with federal and state regulations, contact us today, or go ahead and book a pick-up.

References

How to Recycle Old Electronics

Electronics Donation and Recycling

How to recycle your electronics and gadgets

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