With the rapid changes of technology, electronic waste (or e-waste) is quickly becoming a major trash source. Unfortunately, getting rid of those old machines is not as simple as throwing outdated or broken electronics in the trash. E-waste often contains dangerous materials that need to be carefully and safely recycled to avoid damaging our environment.
As a eco-friendly organization, Junk360 is dedicated to helping you dispose of the e-waste properly. Here’s how you can get rid of old electronics with minimal environmental impact.
What is Electronic Waste?
Electronic waste refers to electronic products in our homes or offices that have reached the end of their useful life. Examples of these products include:
- Copy Machines
- Fax Machines
- Amplifiers and Stereos
Electronics have always produced waste, but - thanks to changes in technology - the quality and speed by which e-waste builds up has increased rapidly. According to a recent article in The Atlantic more than 60 million tons of electronic waste goes into landfills every year. Less than 20% of that is recycled.
Some of the most dangerous hazards come from the aluminum, gold, copper, silver, mercury, lead, and other metals found inside the electronic devices. These have the potential to seep into the ground or contaminate the local water supply of improperly disposed of.
What You Can Do To Minimize Your Electronic Waste
Look around your home or office. Count the number of electronics that haven’t been used for over a year. That is your e-waste.
While no one expects you to solve the world’s electronic waste problem, there are certain steps you can take to minimize your impact. You can:
- Re-evaluate: Don’t buy gadgets just for the sake of it. Ask yourself if you really need that extra electronic. Try organizing your existing devices to see if a new one is really necessary. See if your computer can simply be upgraded. Sharing cords, connectors, and other devices with your household can also go a long way toward reducing your e-footprint.
- Buy eco-friendly: The EPA labels products that as are environmentally friendly and consume less electricity. Keep an eye out for the Energy Star labels that signal these devices. Also, before making any new purchases, ask the store if they have a buyback program. This enables you to recycle via the retailer.
- Donate or Sell: If your electronics are in good condition, manage your e-waste by donating or selling. There are several online platforms for selling old electronics, such as craigslist or eBay. You can find local schools, nonprofits, or charities that can put your old electronics to good use. Cristina.org allows you to type in your zip code and see what your community is in need of.
- Recycle: If your old electronic device is old, broken, or just straight up obsolete the best thing you can do is make sure it’s recycled properly. Bring your electronic waste to schools, designated government offices, or an e-waste certified recycler. You can also contact Junk360, and we’ll handle your e-waste for you!