We live in an increasingly tech-based world, but machines aren’t built to last. Companies rely on us to want the latest new gadgets. But what happens to our electronic junk— the broken printers and outdated iPhones? Like most of us, you probably keep some digital dinosaurs around because you just aren’t sure how to recycle old technology. Read on to find the best option for you.
The Problem with E-waste
Millions of metric tons of e-waste end up in landfills each year. It’s a worldwide problem, and the consequences impact both health and the environmental. Unfortunately, the US continues to ship much of its e-waste overseas to developing nations. Electronics are filled with metals. When a country’s solution is to burn tech garbage, toxic chemicals are released into the air. But there are other options. If your outdated electronics are too far gone to sell, there are ways to safely dispose of them.
Where to Recycle Old Technology
ecoATM accepts cell phones. Broken devices are okay, too. There are 2,700 convenient kiosks. Tablet devices and e-readers are also welcome. Remember to charge the device, and bring your state ID. Upon approval, ecoATM rewards recyclers with fast cash.
e-Stewards is a program managed by the Basel Action Network, a nonprofit committed to the ethical disposal of e-trash. You can find a list of e-Steward certified recyclers on their website. Staples is a member of e-Stewards. The office supply outlet offers in-store benefits to recyclers. Although, they won’t take TVs or appliances. Staples also provides perks for businesses with at least twenty employees.
Best Buy handles most e-waste, including cameras, TVs, computers, and video game gadgets. A complete list of items is available online. Three items per household per day is the limit. At the store entrance, there are kiosks that collect rechargeable batteries, plastic bags, and cables. To date, the national electronics retailer has disposed of more than one billion pounds of electronics and appliances. Their new goal is to reach two billion pounds.
E-waste is a problem, but you can do your part when you responsibly recycle old technology. Some retailers even trade outdated electronics for gift cards, like Target and GameStop. And finally, if your digital dinosaurs are still useable but not worth selling, you can give them a second life by posting online at Freecycle.org, a nonprofit that keeps salvageable items out of landfills, and in circulation.