Deciding what to do with all your old electronics can be difficult. Recycling your e-waste is a great choice - if not one of the best options available.
Sure, you can turn that old washing machine into a planter that doubles as garden art. The old TV from the kids former game room still makes a good door stop in the laundry room, right? And maybe having nine old cell phones in the bottom kitchen drawer is a good idea since you never know when one might come in handy.
Or you could find a better disposal solution for all these e-waste items cluttering up your home.
What Is E-Waste Exactly?
That's a good question, especially since there is no "exact" answer really. But, to simplify things here, e-waste is electronic waste. And electronic waste is essentially any junk item that is composed primarily of electronic components. While this is still a bit vague, it reflects the more "official" definition of e-waste.
In fact, according to the CalRecycle website, the term “E-Waste” is still not clearly defined,
“The term "E-Waste" is loosely applied to consumer and business electronic equipment that is near or at the end of its useful life. There is no clear definition for E-Waste; for instance whether or not items like microwave ovens and other similar "appliances" should be grouped into the category has not been established.”
In fact, while we tend to think mostly of small devices like smartphones or tablets, e-waste also includes various types of office equipment, household components including both large and small appliances.
Information from the UCSC website notes that,
“Examples of electronic waste include, but are not limited to: TVs, computer monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, circuit boards, lamps, clocks, flashlights, calculators, phones, answering machines, digital/video cameras, radios, VCRs, DVD players, MP3 and CD players.”
Essentially, these electronic devices and items can come in all sizes and types. The common element is the electronic components contained in them. While some devices are almost all electronics and a screen, others such as a "smart" kitchen appliance is still mostly an appliance, but contains a significant electronic component.
The other factor that connects all these various machines and devices is the materials found in their electronics: namely toxic elements.
The predominate types of toxic elements include heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and beryllium among others. In addition, there are a number of other potentially dangerous materials in the typical electronic device including chlorine and bromine. And the contamination risks are real.
An article at GreenCitizen.com warns that,
"All these toxins are persistent, bioaccumulative toxins (PBTs) that create environmental and health risks when computers are incinerated, put in landfills or melted down. When computers monitors and other electronics are burned they create cancer-producing dioxins which are released into the air we breathe. If electronics are thrown in landfills, these toxins may leach into groundwater and affect local resources."
Consequently, your old e-waste items can't be disposed of in the usual manner. In other words, when the "smart" coffee maker finally dies it can't just be thrown in the household trash or in the dumpster behind the grocery store!
And this goes for light bulbs, batteries, old pagers and cell phones and your faithful old calculator that finally tallied it's last.
The Best Course for E-Waste: Recycling
If you have failed to find a new home for your working electronics - either by selling them or giving them away as donations - there's still hope for proper disposal. And, if your old devices no longer work so they can't be sold or donated, this is true for those items, as well.
E-waste recycling, or eCycling as it's often called, is the most efficient and environmentally friendly option for disposing of all your e-waste items, working or not.
Depending on where you're located, it's quite likely that your state already has laws in place that mandate how and where you can dispose of your old electronics anyway. In California, for example, it's illegal to dump your old TVs and computer monitors. These must be disposed of by following certain steps and is accompanied by a disposal fee.
While recycling most "smart" appliances and other electronics is a fairly straightforward process, many devices also contain personal information and data that needs to be removed first.
CalRecycle provides this important reminder for consumer looking to recycle their e-waste:
"Many electronic products (computers, cell phones, PDAs, etc) are used to store personal information. Before donating or recycling your equipment, remember to remove all sensitive and personal information from its memory. Note that simply using your keyboard or mouse to delete files does not necessarily completely remove the information from your device’s memory. Your local software store can provide you with the necessary drive cleaning software appropriate for your system."
But the best news of all when it comes to recycling e-waste is that consumers do not have to tackle the process themselves. There is an expert solution to your e-waste recycling needs only a phone call or mouse click away!
Junk King: Expert Junk Removal for Your E-Waste
Junk King provides the most efficient, safe and eco-friendly e-waste removal. No need to worry about the picking up or disposal of those old electronic waste items. Not only that, but we make sure that your old electronics end up in the right place: whether it be a charity if the electronics are still functioning, or a recycling facility to ensure your e-waste is disposed of in an eco-friendly way.
We remove almost all types of e-waste, including:
- Copy Machines