How frequently do you find yourself upgrading to the latest and greatest cell phone, laptop, or TV? Electronics have become a standard in this generation and we don’t think twice about buying brand-new technology, even if our older versions are acceptable.
According to a 2016 UN report, the United States generates 6.3 million tons of the world’s electronic waste. Across the globe, 45 million tons of electronics were tossed out in 2016 alone.
Fortunately, many E-waste (electronic products) can be reused, refurbished, or recycled. However, Only 12.5% of electronic waste is disposed of and recycled properly. When we fail to dispose of the electronics properly, the toxic materials within the gadgets have a huge risk of infecting the soil and polluting the air we breathe.
Although, if we cut our E-waste down by not jumping onto the next big gadget, we can save our wallet and the environment! If you want to make sure your E-waste is getting disposed of correctly, here are three ways it will get done safely.
1. Donate your electronics
Reusing will always be better than recycling! Functioning or refurbished electronics can be donated or sold to someone who can still use it. There are plenty of organizations that will take old phones and use them for the better good. For example, Cell Phones for Soldiers or Komputers4Kids.
2. Find a certified E-waste recycling center
BAN is a non-profit organization that certifies recyclers who want to safely dispose of electronics. The members under BAN take oath and pledge of responsible recycling. Working with an e-Steward that is certified will make you confident that your electronics will not become pollution. They also have a recycler locator that allows you to find e-Stewards near your location!
Although some companies aren’t BAN certified, they still make a difference. Best Buy, for example, has a recycling program in their stores. They accept everything from cell phones, power cords, laptops, speakers, etc. Under their website, it states that your recycling will not end up in a landfill or a foreign country!
Remembering that recycling one million laptops saves energy equivalent to the electricity used in 3,657 homes a year, (EPA) it is our responsibility to recycle wisely and consume less. Be a part of the environmental solution and help recycle your E-waste with our three tips!