[This article was first published in August 2021 and has been revised and updated.]
Electronic equipment that no longer works shouldn't just go in the trash. But there are a few things you should know about electronic equipment recycling.
It's been shown that of all the disposal methods for most electronic equipment, recycling is the best option. And it doesn't have to be a major chore to make that happen.
When the Electronics Pile Up and There's No More Room to Keep Them
One of the funny things about electronics is that most of us are reluctant to get rid of them when they get old.
Sure, if some device simply stops working or gets hopelessly broken, we're more likely to dispose of them then. But the vast majority of electronics we acquire in our lifetimes still work, even though many of them are long out of date, or even obsolete.
And that doesn't take long these days.
According to a recent article at Popular Science,
Windows 7 is the latest operating system to reach “end-of-life,” or EOL, and become officially obsolete. This means no more updates, no more features, and no more security patches. Nothing. And it’s that last point that’s most important to you as a user, because running “dead” software can put your devices and data at risk.
So, in some cases such as with computers, you might be able to get a software upgrade that will extend the user life of your device for a while longer. But, as many of us have had the distressing experience of learning, the existing hardware often isn't sufficient to accommodate the speed, memory, or storage demands of the newer OS.
Which leaves most of us with the other, more costly, option.
The same article goes on to note,
Even if you can upgrade your newly obsolete operating system to a newer version, you might take this opportunity to consider buying an entirely new computer, if you’ve got the budget for it—that’ll automatically give you the latest version of Windows or macOS.
Which, while solving your obsolescence issue still begs the question, "Whaddya do with the old PC?"
Options for Electronic Equipment Disposal
Fortunately, there are options for disposing of e-waste and electronic equipment.
If your device or electronic equipment is not obsolete and is still in good working condition, then there is always the possibility of re-selling the items either directly through a yard sale or a used electronics dealer, or online.
On the other hand, useable electronics are always a welcome addition for people who are unable to afford new equipment or other less-than-fortunate or at-risk individuals. Which is why it can be a great idea to simply donate those gently-used electronics, when possible.
But if your old electronic equipment is broken, obsolete, or simply no longer works, then the best option is recycling.
Recycling doesn't have to be something you need to do yourself, either. While that is certainly an alternative, it can sometimes be challenging to find a place or facility that can properly recycle all types of electronics and e-waste.
Which is why Junk King specializes in e-waste disposal.
Our priority is to ensure that as much junk we pick up as possible is recycled, including all old electronic equipment. If we can't donate it, we make sure it gets properly recycled because we understand the hazards of allowing used electronics make their into landfills.
E-Waste Includes More Than Equipment: Meet Li-ion Batteries
When most of us talk about disposing of batteries we are usually thinking of the ones we use in our small electronic equipment like flashlights, for example. And most of us know that we ought not put these into the household trash.
But what's in them?
As one manufacturer explains,
The average alkaline AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt or button-cell battery is made of steel and a mix of zinc/manganese/potassium/graphite, with the remaining balance made up of paper and plastic.
So, since these are non-toxic materials, all of these battery components are recyclable.
But what about the battery in your rechargeable electric lawn mower you bought yourself for Christmas last year? What happens to those type of high-powered items? Unlike your common alkaline version, these appliance batteries are usually lithium-ion units, or Li-ion batteries.
The EPA notes that,
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are used in many products such as electronics, toys, wireless headphones, handheld power tools, small and large appliances, electric vehicles and electrical energy storage systems.
And another source points out that these powerful lithium-Ion batteries are also rechargeable and are used in many personal electronics such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops, as well as in E-Bikes, tools, hoverboards, scooters, and for solar power backup storage.
Oh, and just about every EV, or electric vehicle, on the road.
So, Li-ion batteries are recyclable? Yes, and very much so. And because their working lifespans are so long - about two to three years or 300 to 500 charge cycles - we are only beginning to see the coming tide of "used" lithium-ion batteries hitting the recycling market.
And when it comes to the larger units such as those used in electric vehicles, relatively few of these lithium-ion batteries have reached the end of life stage because they haven’t been in the market all that long and they last a long time.
And they do need to be recycled.
While they pose little environmental threat due to their minimal amount of hazardous or toxic components, they still should not end up in landfills.
The lithium itself isn’t a real threat in terms of pollution, however the batteries do contain traces of metals such as manganese, cobalt, and nickel. And while they're not nearly as toxic as the lead from old-style automobile While these metals aren’t as problematic as lead, they are considered toxic heavy metals.
The real need for recycling rests in the fact that most of these advanced and long-lasting batteries can render service in a "second life" in a variety of capacities.
But not without being recycled.
And, as Forbes magazine noted,
"By 2030, 11 million metric tons of Li-ion batteries are expected to reach the end of their service lives. Thus, Li-ion battery recycling is an issue that will take on much greater importance in coming years."
Electronic Equipment Recycling, E-Waste, and Junk King
Junk King is ready to provide you with efficient, safe, and eco-friendly electronic equipment recycling and e-waste disposal services.
It doesn't matter if you only have a few pieces of old, large computer equipment to get rid of, or you have multiple offices and workstations filled with electronic equipment that needs to be removed and recycled, we've got you covered.
It just takes one call to Junk King and you can let us take care of all the loading up and disposing of those old e-waste items.
Not only that, but we guarantee that your old computers and other electronics end up in the right place: whether that's nonprofit for those electronics that are still functioning, or at 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:
- Mobile phones