Technology is always evolving, resulting in the introduction of improved gadgets. OK, great…but how do you safely dispose of your old tech?
Tech trash is becoming a major headache for businesses. In addition to rising costs, the social costs and reputation damage associated with improper disposal of e-waste are becoming more than many are willing to bear. Clearly, something needs to give.
What happens to all of your electronic waste?
All electronic trash contains hazardous compounds such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, mercury, and brominated flame retardants. These are all known to cause cancer.
The improper disposal of gadgets and electronics is, therefore, a real danger. It increases the likelihood that these toxic substances will contaminate the land and pollute the air. In addition, it’s possible for them to leak into water bodies, increasing the risk of contamination.
A lot of electronic trash ends up in a landfill. When that happens, it has a tendency to leach. Water travels through it and picks up trace elements from the garbage. Once the bad landfill water reaches groundwater, it contains higher quantities of toxic waste. This is unsafe if it enters any bodies of freshwater used for drinking.
What about countermeasures to the contamination?
Of course, many recycling efforts make a positive impact on the environment. However, the process sometimes involves shipping the gadgets overseas and then dumping them in landfills.
Even worse, some recycling companies export e-waste to third-world countries under the pretext of benevolence. As you might expect, this practice is illegal.
A large number of children in third-world countries make their livings by scavenging gold, silver, iron, and copper from tech garbage. Foraging in the garbage is hazardous to their health and well-being and something we should not tolerate anywhere.
Some countries become “willing dumping grounds” for electronic waste. These same nations tend to have high rates of cybercrime. Oftentimes, salvaged hard drives provide thieves with direct access to personal documents and information.
Employ instead some eco-friendly options. These allow you to safely dispose of electronic waste on a local level.
Safely dispose of old tech with e-waste recycling.
One encouraging development is that there are today a plethora of recycling options available to you. Be sure to look for a legit e-waste recycler.
Seek out someone with a seal of approval from the Basel Action Network (BAN) before proceeding. BAN is a non-profit e-waste recycling organization comprised of recycling groups committed to recycling e-waste in a safe and eco-friendly manner. All members are required to make a promise and post their Pledges of Responsible Recycling in public places.
Working with a licensed recycler removes the need to be concerned about polluting another country. In addition, it limits the risk of the disclosure of your personal information to criminals.
When donating or recycling your electronics, take these safety precautions.
Instead of merely replacing your computer, consider upgrading it.
Before throwing away your products, remove all of your personal information from them. Be sure to remove the batteries from your electronic devices before throwing them away.
Selling your outdated tech is another good idea.
After all, one man’s trash is another’s treasure, as the saying goes.
When it comes to safely getting rid of your old devices, use this avenue as well. Sell your old devices on websites such as Craigslist and eBay. Similarly, hold a garage sale. This allows you to get rid of your unwanted items while earning some money.
Sometimes, old Nintendo video games, for example, sell for as much as $40 per game if they’re in good condition. The majority of electronic stores are always willing to accept your used electronics.
Give your outdated tech to a good cause.
Old gadgets that you no longer use can be safely donated because they may be of help to someone else in need. Your old computer may be of service to a non-profit organization or to students. Choose from a variety of electronic donation programs offered by a variety of organizations and businesses. Before you dispose of your old devices, ask yourself the following two questions:
- Is the device up and running?
- Is it possible that the computer has some of your personal information?
In addition, inquire about any recycling programs that your local government, universities, or schools have in place. A growing number of institutions have set aside a certain day and location for environmentally aware residents to come and safely drop off their e-waste.
In addition, you make it easier for others to safely dispose of their old tech when you support your local drop-off location with monetary donations.
A number of electronic companies have an exchange program in which they would accept your old electronics in return for a newer model. Sometimes they even give discounts on new purchases.
A few recycling firms have set up electronic drop-off campaigns. In addition, they provide drop-off facilities for items such as mobile phones and tablets. These are then recycled by the company in question. Any information about drop-off locations is obtained by contacting your local electronics store.
Protect the safety of both the environment and your personal information.
Electronics are an important aspect of our lives today. However, the negative side effect is the e-waste that is generated as a result of their use.
Make sure to format your electronic devices before safely disposing of them. The entailments of failing to do so might be severe.