Photo courtesy of macgyverisms.wonderhowto.com
Out with the old and in with the new should never end with your used electronics in a landfill. A growing concern across the globe, electronic waste, or e-waste, is rapidly creating a crisis. Only 11-14 percent of electronic waste in the United States ready for disposal is actually recycled or reused, while the remainder is creating environmental and health issues worldwide.
How can I recycle or properly dispose of my electronic waste?
- Ask your local retailer. If you’ve recently purchased a large appliance for your kitchen, laundry, or entertainment center, ask about their pick up and recycling options for the appliance you are replacing. Many centers offer free pickup and disposal of old appliances at the time of delivery, providing a simple, convenient solution for homeowners. Small appliances often qualify for free disposal or recycling as well, with most chain office stores offering free computer trade-in, secure data destruction, and recycling opportunities. Got light bulbs, batteries, cell phones or smart devices? Hardware chains and battery retailers often offer recycling options, however, be sure to check before hauling in used items, as availability of programs varies widely by location.
- Inquire into county, city, and state recycling centers and events. Twenty five U.S. states have laws requiring e-waste recycling, which is typically free to consumers. For more information on programs and events specific to your area, visit the National Center for Electronics Recycling. In addition, contact your local garbage service and inquire about annual curbside pickup or drop-off events for large items, worn-out appliances, and items considered hazardous waste. These programs are often offered as a free public service at specific times of the year.
- Take part in donations and charities. Goodwill, Salvation Army, and an array of other charities are happy to give your e-waste the opportunity for a second home. Donating your used e-waste gives low-income families an affordable option for used appliances in addition to keeping them out of the landfill. What’s more, many charities accept used e-waste items as a means to provide essential services, such as:
- The Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Cell Phones for Soldiers
- Habitat for Humanity
- List it. Craigslist, eBay, your local newspaper, and others offer opportunities to help those less fortunate get a little more life out of your used items. This includes working items as well as e-waste in need of a little TLC. There are plenty of Mr. and Mrs. Fix-its out there happy to donate a little time to get your appliances working again. Think it's too far gone for repair? List it anyway. There are many individuals who make a living by “scrapping” - picking up and breaking down your used appliances at local recycling centers.
- Scrap it. If you have a little extra time and wouldn’t mind a little extra cash, consider scrapping your used e-waste yourself. Be aware, however, this is not as simple as tossing ‘ye olde refrigerator in the back of your pickup and unceremoniously gesturing to it at the local scrap yard. Call first and inquire about disposal specifications, including properly removing refrigerant and other hazardous waste from appliances, as well as how to best separate metals and other components to get the most bang for your buck out of scrapping.
- Draft HirePatriots. HirePatriots, in cooperation with Mr. Electric® and the non-profit organization Patriotic Hearts, is dedicated to providing jobs for U.S. veterans and support services for their families by leading the way in e-waste management services. Offering electronic waste recycling and disposal for homes nationwide, HirePatriots offers:
- Pickup, packaging and removal.
- Responsible recycling.
- Secure data destruction.
- Accredited repair and refurbishment.
Don’t have time to deal with your e-waste? Don’t dump it. Contact Mr. Electric today. Proper disposal and recycling is essential to preserving our environment and the health of future generations. With the help of HirePatriots and Mr. Electric, we can quickly and responsibly handle all of your electronic waste needs.