Here’s Why You Should Recycle Electronics

Jon Fesmire | Apr 21, 2019 @ 11:22 AM

If you want to upgrade to a new phone or computer, it’s important to recycle your old electronics.

In some cases, you may have a use still for your old laptop, smartphone, tablet, or mp3 player. However, if you don’t, here’s why you should recycle those older items.

Reuse Important Resources

Motherboards, computer chips, and other parts in your old electronics, also called “E-Waste,” are made from a variety of metals and other materials. When someone throws out an old computer, they’re essentially making those materials unavailable to be used again. Additional materials, often precious metals like gold, need to be mined or manufactured to make new, working electronics. When you recycle, you make those materials available for the next generation of computers.

Protect the Land, Air, and Sea

Recycling electronics also protects the environment. Some of the materials needed in our devices are toxic, including lead and mercury. Toss your electronics out and they can end up in a landfill, where those chemicals will leach into the soil. When that landfill becomes the site of a new housing complex, those chemicals could get into the water and plants, and even into the vegetables in someone’s garden.

They could also end up in rivers, lakes, and oceans, where a lot of waste washes off too, killing animal and plant life and poisoning our own water supply.

Conserve Landfill Space

This may sound counterintuitive, but we are running out of landfill space. There are a lot of open spaces in the U.S., so you might think that we can always open up a landfill somewhere new, but professionals say that we are going to run out of landfill space in less than 20 years if we don’t start recycling more.

E-Waste is part of the problem, so this is another good reason to recycle it.

How to Recycle Electronics

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to recycle electronics. Visit the RecycleNation website to find out if there are charities in your area that take them. For example, a charity that helps homeless families get on their feet may provide them with older computers. Sure, they won’t be able to play the latest games, but they will be able to get on the internet, write resumes and letters, and allow their children to do homework. Other charities may repair broken electronics and sell them.

A computer manufacturer may offer you a discount on a new computer by trading in your new one. They can recover useful materials from your old devices, and to them, that’s worth offering you a discount on your next purchase.

Some electronics stores, such as Best Buy, also act as E-Waste recycling centers, and some areas have kiosks where you can recycle your old tablets and phones for cash.

As you can see, recycling E-Waste is easy. Do yourself, and the environment, a favor by looking into what options are available in your area.