upcycling ewaste

How to Recycle Your Old Electronics Responsibly

If you’re anything like me, you have an old computer in the basement and a few MP3 players and old phones rattling around in your office drawers. During a recent move, I decided to recycle these items and was really happy to find a plethora of services and sites where you can sell, gift, upcycle or recycle old electronic items.

Why recycle?

Every year, 50 million tons of electronic waste ends up in landfills. The US alone discards 30 million computers and a whopping 128 million phones, only about 15-20% of which are recycled. While upcycled coffee tablemore than 90% of your electronic components are recyclable, most of them end up in the trash. The tragedy is that electronic components contain some of the most precious metals mined across the globe at great cost to the environment.

Just imagine the price that each of your MP3 players, laptops, tablets and smartphones illicits as the precious metals which make these little miracles of modern technology are extracted from the earth, refined, manufactured and shipped thousands of miles for a brief and glorious moment of use before being tossed aside for the latest iteration of must-have technology.

Ok, so maybe that sounds a little dramatic, but the truth is that our addiction to electronics needs to sculpture from circuit boardsbecome more sustainable. It’s understandable that you want to keep up with technological trends, but make sure that you are a responsible consumer and practice sounds green living principles by responsibly recycling your unwanted electronics.

What can I do with unwanted electronics?

There are many great ways in which you can reduce the carbon footprint of your technology. If your computer, laptop or smartphone is in good working order, consider giving it to a friend or family member, a local school or a charity that is in need of electronics.

recycled electronic componentsYou can sell your existing laptops to companies like Music Magpie for a profit that can help offset the costs of your upgrade. If you want to recycle your components, contact your local government to find drop off sites for electronic items. These items are then responsibly recycled and the precious metals are reused.

Recycling your electronic items prevents dangerous substances like lead and mercury from polluting the environment. The precious raw materials that can be found in electronics now become a local resource for your community. The refurbishment and recycling of components can create jobs locally and reduces the impact your electronics have on the environment.

Create a green home and help to protect our environment by gifting, selling or recycling your used electronics.

If you wish to locate your nearest electronic waste recycling site in the US, click here.

For Canada click here.

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Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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