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How to Recycle Electronics and Gadgets?
With the festive season looming many of us are starting to think about our Christmas
shopping list. Electronic gadgets are likely to feature high on that list. Technology is
churned out faster than you ever expect. Before you know it, your year-old TV or
smartphone is already antiquated and a new, better model is on the shelves. According to
CNET, people in the UK purchase at least three new electronics or gadgets every year.
When upgrading, your first thought is probably to chuck your unwanted gadgets. After
all, what would you do with two iPhones or an extra laptop? While it’s the easiest way to
get rid of extraneous items, tossing your electronics in the dustbin is bad for the
environment, not to mention human health.
Devices that end up in landfills can poison the environment with their harmful elements,
like plastic, lead, selenium and cadmium. Luckily, there are plenty of recycling
opportunities and programs that help you go green when trading up your tech.
Option 1: Sell Your Device
Something that you consider outdated may feel brand new and exciting to someone else.
Post your item on a sales site like eBay and see if anybody’s interested in purchasing it.
Yes, you may have the device in your house for a while longer, but you’ll end up making
a bit of money and you’ll help out the environment at the same time.
Option 2: Return the Device to the Manufacturer
There are several manufacturers who have a recycling or buy-back program. You could
even get a discount on your next device just for returning your used one, as long as it’s
still in good condition. In 2007, new UK legislation required all electronics retailers and
distributors to have a free, in-store recycling service.
Option 3: Donate the Device
Charitable programs in the UK, like Computer Aid International and Digital Links, will
take your old gadgets and donate them to people in need. Make sure that your device is
working properly or that it only needs minor repairs and will function correctly after
being refurbished. When donating your item, make sure to include the charger and any
other accessories that originally came with it.
Option 4: Recycle the Device
For devices that are either broken or are too old to still be useful, Waste Electrical and
Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling is the best option. The WEEE program makes
sure to carefully dispose of the device, recycling any reusable base materials and making
sure the harmful materials are disposed of properly.
3 Gadget Add-Ons to Recycle
Tech recycling doesn’t just include appliances, electronics and handheld devices, but also
the components they use and remember many batteries can also be recycled. In the UK,
retailers and distributors must have a battery collection facility for both household
batteries and those used in consumer electronics. Finally, manufacturers often take back
used printer cartridges and some even come with a pre-paid return envelope.
Before getting rid of any device, make sure to backup your data and wipe the device
clean in order to prevent identity theft.