Americans generate nearly 300 million tons of waste each year, and only 32.1 percent of that gets recycled. We can do better — and in some pretty unexpected ways, too.
You already recycle your plastics, paper, and glass, but what about your electronics? Yes, it turns out that electronics recycling has some huge benefits to the environment, so long as you do it in the right way.
So, what will you do with your e-waste — and what will happen to it once it’s recycled? Here’s everything you need to know.
Wait, What is E-Waste?
You might’ve guessed, but the “e” in e-waste stands for electronics. So, if you’re recycling e-waste, you’re getting rid of broken, obsolete, or otherwise no-longer-needed devices in your home.
It’s important that you get rid of these devices in the right way by contacting a company such as CJD E-Cycling. They often contain hazardous materials and chemicals that can be toxic to the environment if they break down in the wrong place.
So, rather than letting these items break down and disintegrate, experts salvage parts and reuse them to make new products and devices. It saves dangerous materials from ending up in the earth, and it means recycled items get made into something useful again — a win-win situation.
What Items Are Eligible For Electronics Recycling?
You might wonder what parts of your leftover electronics can be salvaged and reused. When it comes to raw materials, experts can salvage:
They can also collect the following items to either reuse them or dispose of them safely:
- Circuit boards
- Hard discs
- Toner and ink cartridges for printers
It’s also important to note that these facilities can safely dispose of mercury, too. And there are plenty of electronic devices that contain this otherwise toxic material — that’s why it’s so important to rely on e-waste recycling technology for these types of items.
What Can Be Made From Electronic Waste?
There are many products that can be made from your e-waste. For starters, experts may be able to refurbish your devices and either donate them or sell them at a discount. This process makes computers, TVs, and other expensive items more accessible to people, which is a great second-life for your old electronics.
When e-recyclers strip down your devices, they give those materials some pretty interesting second lives, as well. They can reuse the plastic to make furniture that you’ll find on playgrounds or on porches. The metals can be melted and strung into new wiring.
And then, of course, some companies will reuse old electronics to make new appliances. Perhaps your stainless steel fridge or sleek laptop has a piece of something old built into it.
Is Electronics Recycling Worth It?
It’s not always easy to find a place that has electronics recycling facilities. But it is absolutely worth your time to try and do so.
Not only will you stop hazardous materials from entering the environment, but you’ll give manufacturers the chance to reuse perfectly good materials. And by frequenting the e-waste recycling center, you’ll keep people in their jobs, too.
So, next time you need to throw away a computer, a refrigerator, or even a tiny, little battery, remember the value of e-waste recycling. And don’t forget to check back with us for more tech-centric updates.