Disposing of Electronics the Right Way

Disposing of Electronics the Right Way

When it comes to computers, cell phones, televisions, and other electronic equipment you no longer want, disposal is not a simple matter of putting the item out by the curb for the garbage man to pick up. Many electronics contain hazardous materials like mercury and heavy metals that should not enter the waste stream. They need to be disposed of correctly to keep our environment safe and healthy and to adhere to local and national laws.

If you have unwanted electronic equipment, you have several options to dispose of them. They include: 

Sell Them 

Just because you no longer want your outdated smartphone doesn’t mean someone else won’t. You might be surprised at how easy it is to sell electronic equipment that you are replacing or upgrading. If the device is still in working order, you can post it on Craigslist or local Facebook swap page. You can also promote it in your social media posts to let friends and acquaintances know you have something to sell. Want to make it move faster? Offer it for free. 

Donate Them 

Want to help out your community and score some tax write-offs? Donate your working outdated electronic devices to a local charity or national nonprofit with a local chapter. Some organizations even welcome broken devices, which they refurbish for those they serve, while others disassemble them and sell or recycle the parts to raise money. 

Recycle Them 

If you can’t sell or give away your old electronics, the next option you should look into is recycling. Not only does this keep hazardous materials out of the environment. Those materials that are recovered in the recycling process can often be reused in the manufacturing of new devices. Recycling electronics thus reduces the amount of mining and industrial processing needed to obtain those materials.

Many municipalities have special days on which electronics waste is picked up curbside or can be dropped off at a specific location. Some municipal waste transfer stations also have a regular place to drop off old electronics on any day. If none of these options exist in your town, check online for electronics recyclers near you. Some companies will pick up your equipment. 

Computer Recycling Safety

If you are recycling, selling, or donating a computer, you need to consider the information you have stored on it. Private data such as bank accounts, credit card numbers, and social security numbers could still be present even if you think you’ve wiped your hard drive clean. To ensure that all of your data is unrecoverable, you must physically destroy the hard drive. If you work with a professional electronics recycler that you trust, you can ask them to perform the task so that your private information is kept safe. Otherwise, remove the hard drive, put on a pair of safety glasses, and smash it with a hammer a few times. It’ll feel so good!

Disposing of your unwanted electronic equipment doesn’t have to be a hassle. Determine whether you want to sell, donate, or recycle your unwanted items, then reach out to professionals who can help. If you have any questions about electronics disposal, please contact Eric M. Krise Electrical Contractor in Elmer, NJ. We’ll be happy to help!