When walking into the Apple store for an upgrade, do you ever wonder what happens to all the electronics people discard after purchasing the latest models? That old phone or Mac Book is yesterday’s news. Some of us have stockpiled our cellars and attics with electronics since the 1980s, including Commodore 64s in old milk crates and shoe boxes filled with brick-size cell phones. Our electronics have not yet become E-waste, but are in a type of holding pattern, waiting for disposal. In the end, someone will inherit the waste and something will have to be done with it.
An Endless Trail of E-Waste
Most of the old computers and gadgets that are not in storage end up in landfills, incinerators or exported to foreign continents such as Asia. This is known as e-waste, and it is a serious and widespread health and environmental concern. Electronics contain toxic chemicals like lead, cadmium, beryllium and other dangerous heavy metals. When the e-waste is dumped into landfills, these toxic chemicals can seep into the soil and contaminate water supplies. This process is not only life threatening to the ecosystem and wildlife, but it’s also dangerous for people living in nearby communities. The same holds true when e-waste is disposed of at an incinerator. When toxic chemicals get released into the atmosphere, people are at risk for exposure. There have been all sorts of different theories as to what to do with e-waste. From blasting it into outer space to stockpiling it on an eternally floating barge, people are clutching at straws when it comes to handling the growing e-waste epidemic. One option is to send your old electronics to recycling and disposal services at www.republicservices.com or to other similar e-waste removal programs. This will not only benefit the earth, but will help you save money.
Reduce Amount of Upgrades
You probably never thought your Android could adversely affect the food chain, or that your PC had enough toxicity in it to brutalize the environment. The average person buying a new cell phone every 18 months takes a serious toll on the landscape if the e-waste is not disposed of accordingly. Therefore, one of the easiest things you can do help minimize your e-waste trail is to not purchase every technological upgrade that comes along. In other words, reduce the upgrades. This will not only benefit the environment but will probably also boost your bank account. Storing all your old electronics in your cellar is not a solution. You need to recycle that old TV and VCR!
Re-Use and Recycle
When you take your electronics to the dump, you can easily be hit with a $25 to $50 disposal fee. However, a certified e-waste recyclers will not charge you a dime. These specialized garbage companies ensure that anything of value within the electronic device is recycled and reused. For example, gold and copper can be found in the circuit connections and microchips of certain electronic devices.
In the end, these certified companies are not only saving you money, but protecting the earth. Some popular retail stores will also have recycle specialists who will process your e-waste. Perhaps it is time to clean out that cellar and donate your old electronics to Goodwill or Salvation Army. Having people reuse your old tech ware is even better than taking it to certified recyclers.
In our post-millennial world of hi-tech gadgets and upgrades, e-waste is a burgeoning problem. The next time you splurge on the latest model, be sure to properly dispose of the old one.
Author: Benefits of Recycling
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