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Electronics have genuinely become an essential part of everyday life. They offer us information, connection, and convenience at our fingertips.
The technology industry has been booming consistently with business and new ideas. Every year, a slew of new-and-improved models are put onto the market, and upon acquiring your new and shiny device, you must figure out what to do with your old one.
This may not seem like an incredibly important decision, but how you choose to dispose of your old and broken electronics can have serious environmental and health consequences.
What is E-Waste?
Technology is an industry with its own trends and cycles for rolling out products.
In order to maintain demand, most electronics are not made to have long lifespans. Even if the body of the product is still useful, software updates and technology trends can make the product obsolete.
E-Waste, or electronic waste, is any piece of technology that has reached the end of its useful life. At this point, the product can no longer be refurbished or otherwise restored.
Electronics are usually made with a combination of reusable metals (such as copper, tin, aluminum, and gold) that are relatively easy to separate from the product and break down.
On the other hand, there are also a variety of non-organic chemicals, such as plastics and metals, that are not as easily broken down. If improperly disposed of, these toxins can contaminate landfills and pollute water supplies.
How Do I Recycle E-Waste?
You can reduce the amount of electronic waste that ends up in a landfill by following proper e-waste recycle practices. These practices include:
This option ensures that as little toxic waste as possible is put out into the environment.
Because most electronics are made of a compound of reusable and toxic materials, recycling e-waste requires a specific process. A responsible recycling facility will have the means to separate useful materials from the toxic ones safely, and will recycle the products properly.
There are a variety of philanthropic groups that collect old or broken electronics, refurbish them, and give them to communities that can make good use of them.
In this case, it is less about the new technology and more about what the products can still do. What may be outdated to one person could be brand new to another.
3. Passing Back to Tech Firms
Many technology manufacturers or retailers, such as Apple and Amazon, spend millions of dollars every year repurchasing recyclable products or giving out special offers for recyclable tech. This process saves them money on materials and allows them to find new ways to refurbish old products.