It’s safe to assume that in 2021 you own more electronic devices than you ever have before. From your phone to your computer, smartwatch, tv, and even your electric kettle, your life runs on electronics.
There’s nothing wrong with this; however, when we get a shiny new gadget, we rarely stop to think about the end of its life. Plus, every time you buy a new electronic, you probably have an older model that you don’t need anymore.
Old electronics should never be thrown in the trash. Not only is that a waste of valuable materials, but it’s also incredibly harmful to the environment. So what can you do with old devices you don’t need anymore?
We’re going to break down how to get rid of old electronics in ways that are better for the planet. We’ll also talk about why e-waste should be avoided at all costs and more on why electronics don’t belong in the trash. Let’s get started.
What is E-Waste?
E-waste stands for electronic waste, so it’s simply any device that ends up in a landfill. Electronics contain chemicals that are terrible for the environment, including mercury flame retardants, cadmium, lead, beryllium, and more.
When electronics go to landfills, these chemicals seep into waterways, soil, and the air. They are responsible for increasing air pollution and making water unsafe to drink when they leach into natural groundwater.
You can read more about the effects of e-waste on the environment to understand why you should always avoid trashing your old electronics.
What do you do with them instead? Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an old electronics hoarder. Keep reading to learn about better options that protect the planet and dispose of your old devices responsibly.
How to Sell Old Electronics
If you have electronics that you simply don’t need by still have life left in them, the best thing you can do is sell them. The price of electronics continues to skyrocket, however, it’s almost impossible to survive the modern-day without a smartphone or laptop.
Are you looking to upgrade your laptop or iPhone? You can sell your older model to someone looking for a great deal. You’ll help extend its life and keep it out of a landfill, and you can even make a quick buck.
Here are great places to sell your old electronics online:
- Facebook Marketplace
- Gazelle (check out their ecoATM)
Selling your old electronics is also a great option if you have something collecting dust that’s actually worth a lot of money now. For example, some classic video games and consoles have increased in value, and superfans will pay top dollar for your old game.
How to Recycle Old Electronics
Another great way to dispose of e-waste responsibly is to recycle it. This is especially a great option for devices that don’t work anymore or don’t have enough value to sell.
Recycling old electronics can be tricky, but a little research will help you locate the best place to recycle old electronics near you. Let’s look at the three most popular e-waste recycling options.
1.Recycle with Your Municipality
Electronic waste isn’t usually accepted in your curbside recycling bin with your cardboard and plastic. However, some municipalities do accept e-waste at their recycling centers if you drop it off.
Look on your city’s website to learn about the electronic recycling services available to you. If recycling centers don’t accept e-waste daily, they might have special e-waste recycling events a few times a year. It’s worth checking out since this could be the most convenient way for you to recycle your old gadgets.
Some stores like BestBuy and Staples have e-waste recycling programs, so you simply drop off your old phones, random cords, broken DVD players, and whatever else with them.
For example, dropping off old electronics with BestBuy is free, but you can also pay to have them pick them up. BestBuy will take just about anything, whether or not you bought it from them.
Several phone manufacturers also recycle old phones, including LG, Apple, and Samsung. Wireless carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile will also do the same. If you don’t have a store near you, some cell phone companies will let you mail in old phones too.
For your old computers, send them to HP. They will even take used ink cartridges and old printers. The great thing about recycling with retail companies is that sometimes they offer discounts or credit for future purchases when you bring back your old devices.
3.Use Cleanlites Recycling
You can also utilize a recycling service like Cleanlites to dispose of your old electronics responsibly. This is an especially great option for businesses that have a lot of electronics to recycle at once.
Cleanlites is also great for hard to recycle electronics that store drop-off programs don’t accept. They take everything from computer monitors to batteries and aerosol.
They offer non-electronic recycling services too. Cleanlites will responsibly dispose of paint, solar panels, hazardous chemicals, and more.
Trade-In Your Old Devices
Tech companies are always releasing new models of your favorite gadgets, and it’s hard to resist upgrading to the latest and greatest version. The most eco-friendly thing to do is make your current device last for as long as possible. However, if you do choose to upgrade or need to for your job, you can trade your old model in.
When you do a trade-in, the company can refurbish your old device and resell it, which keeps it out of landfills.
How to Get Rid of Old Electronics
Hopefully, after reading this article you’ll vow to never throw away an old electronic device again. Plus, there are so many great responsible options for how to get rid of old electronics that are more convenient than ever.
Whether you choose to sell, recycle, or trade-in your old devices, you’re making a much better choice for the environment than the trash. For more tech tips and resources, check out the rest of the blog.