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Electronics: Nightmares for Landfills, Opportunities For Recycling
How long has there been a computer in your house? What about the workplace? How many old TVs are sitting in the basement, or the attic, collecting dust for years and years? Has your shelf of old cell phones been cleared off recently or are you still using them as questionable decor?
There’s a tendency for people to hold onto their older electronics when newer ones come in. Mostly it’s due to people wanting a backup in case the new one bites the dust suddenly, or to simply relocate the older one to another room that could use it. Otherwise the reasons can be anything, from hoarding, to simply forgetting about it. Eventually there comes a time when they have to go. When that time does come, you need to make sure you’re getting rid of them properly.
The default behavior for most would be to load up the old electronics and take them to the dump, or throw smaller ones in the trash, and in some cases to drop them in a ditch somewhere down a country road. Obviously, don’t do that last one. The landfill is not the correct place for these items to end up for some very important reasons.
Thousands of computers, cell phones, TVs, DVD players, and other electronics are suddenly rendered obsolete every day, and many feel a compulsion to have the latest devices. As many of them find their way to the landfill they take up valuable space that is better served for more appropriate trash. This causes landfills to fill up too quickly, necessitating them to be closed and new ones opened.
Furthermore, electronics contain materials that pose a hazard should they break down outside. Materials such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and other materials will break down and leak chemicals into the air, water, and soil. Naturally, they will eventually find their way into the bodies of the plant, animal, and human life in the area. In case you’re confused, ingesting these chemicals is bad for you, and the environment, but there is a solution.
Electronics are stuffed full of recoverable materials such as various metals, glass, and plastics. These can be salvaged and reused in new products, the more harmful material can be properly disposed of preventing any risk of contamination. By recycling these components we are able to reduce our impact on the environment by lowering the need for new resources to be extracted.
The process is rather straightforward, get in touch with an e-waste recycling provider and make some arrangements. Your e-waste can be picked up, or they may provide drop off options for collection. When it comes to computers or any kind of data storage device you need to make sure that it gets destroyed before it’s sent off to recycling. Some services will combine their recycling with hard drive destruction, in which case you should be good to go. But make sure to double check before committing as you want to avoid any risks of data theft.
Electronics need to be recycled properly and it’s not hard to do it. Let’s all do our part to protect the environment and do something properly.
March 30, 2021