Everyone likes electronics, but what do you if yours have outlived their fun or usefulness? You can throw them away or keep them in your drawer, but you could take the wiser option – recycle!
Much as we’d like to take the convenient route, throwing old electronics away can be a messy proposition. And it’s environmentally harmful, considering they contain non-biodegradable materials like glass, metals and plastics. Moreover, you have to make sure they are recycled using proper techniques. Think TV or computer monitor CRT tubes, which hold at least six pounds of lead. It’s a must that they are processed properly.
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To find a reliable recycler in your area, you can always search the Internet. There are so many groups or organizations that will take your old gadgets and devices. Just before you send them over, however, take time to “clean” them of any personal details you may have previously saved, like your credit card number, your social security number, and the like. Good thing there are many software solutions that let you do that quite easily. Of course, if you’re that paranoid, just take out hard drive from the computer and keep it in your drawer, smash it with a hammer or anything to that effect.
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The good news is nearly each major retailer and manufacturer runs their own recycling scheme or program. Best Buy, for instance, accepts cell phones, ink-jet cartridges and rechargeable batteries for free. You can also give them your bigger appliances like TVs and refrigerators, and it will be free but only if you buy replacements from them. Discounts are also provided by Costco and Staples for trade-in devices like game consoles, MP3 players and PCs.
If you don’t want to go to a retailer, you can also to the source. Toshiba, Dell, and Lexmark are just three of the plenty of companies that recycle their own products.
Of course, there are other methods of recycling your old goods without approaching an online storefront or a huge company. You can Craigslist, for example. Charity groups are always glad to accept your old stuff.
The National Cristina Foundation will take your computers, peripherals and software. Cells for Cells will take your cellphones, but rather than creating new gadgets out of them, these things are turned into cash, which is to be given to families struggling with cancer.
So rather than crowding the nation’s landfills or your drawers even more, next time you plan to upgrade your electronics, remember all these other ways of disposing of your old devices. Better still, if you do something positive for the environment, you may earn a little money to add to your down payment, and you will feel less guilty about buying your latest shiny baby.