Have you recently upgraded to a new phone? Perhaps you have received a new laptop as a gift? Either way, if you have any type of electronic gadget that you no longer use, or that has broken, then you need to make sure you dispose of it in the right way; a way that won’t harm our environment or contribute to polluted air or contaminated land. Electronic waste, or e-waste, is a massive problem in Europe and the US and one that is affecting developing nations as the wealthier nations ship their e-waste to other countries for disposal.
We all need to do our bit to ensure that the problem does not get any worse but just how do you dispose of electronic gadgets correctly?
• Sell your old gadget
– If your old phone, tablet or laptop is still in working order, have you considered selling it? There are plenty of people who are looking for second-hand items online because they cannot afford the brand new version. Moreover, if you think that your gadget is not worth selling, then perhaps you could consider selling it to someone who refurbishes gadgets or uses the parts for repairs. They may be able to bring it back to life and sell it on, so they could be interested in what you have to offer.
• Donate your items
– It may seem hard to believe but there are plenty of people in this world that would love to be able to own a mobile phone or a computer, but they simply cannot afford it. So, if you no longer need your gadget, why not donate it to an underprivileged family who could only dream of owning such a thing? You will feel great for doing such a good deed. There are also other places where you can donate your gadgets, such as charities and schools.
• Employ the experts
– For businesses with a large quantity of old electronic equipment there are specialist companies that take care of this for you. They know exactly how to dispose of electronic waste in a manner that is safe, complies with all laws like the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations, and does not damage the environment. They will also ensure that all confidential data is destroyed too, which is vital when you consider the serious risks of identity fraud.
• Return it to the electrical store
– Nowadays, all electronic stores are required to take back electronic gadgets, even if they did not sell them to you in the first place. This has been the case since the WEEE directive was made law in 2003 but it is not well-known and, perhaps, not well advertised by the stores. If a store does not offer their own take back service, then at the very least they are going to point you in the direction of the best place to suitably dispose of your electronic goods nearby.
• Consider reusing the item
– Last but not least, you may be able to use the item in some other capacity. Perhaps you could take parts of the electronic item and use them in another way; add a new hard drive or monitor to an old C, give an old phone to a younger member of your family? Or, maybe you could get creative and turn your old PC monitor into a digital photo frame or even a work of art?
Hopefully, you should now have some suggestions on what to do with your old electronic gadgets in order to be eco-friendly. You can then have the peace of mind that you are not contributing to the growing problem of e-waste, and not contributing to environmental damage and health risks.
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James Rubin is dedicated to help in any way he can to build a circular economy to ensure the increasing mountain of electronic waste does not end up in landfill but is recycled or reused