Many people wonder what to do with old electronics. Similarly, they may wonder how to dispose of old cell phones, how to dispose of cables, or how to dispose of televisions. All of these items represent electronic waste (E-waste). How to dispose of batteries is another conundrum for many of us.
What can be made from electronic waste?
You might be surprised to know that a wide range of useful products can be made using recycled E-waste. The list runs the gamut from motherboards for computers, to LED screens for our electronic devices and televisions, to artworks that incorporate these reminders of our high-tech lives. Other innovative uses of recycled E-waste include the following:
- Bio-grow units
- Cufflinks and other jewelry
- New wiring
- New appliances
- Refurbished electronic devices
- And plenty more!
How to dispose of electronic waste?
There are several ways to approach electronic waste disposal and/or recycling. Many consumers simply dump these items in the trash without another thought. But responsible consumers know that potentially toxic heavy metals and other substances can leach out and pollute our waterways and environment.
Check with your locality for government or private recycling options near you. Most communities offer a drop-off center, or an annual collection drive, to help dispose of these items properly. In many instances, that includes the recycling of components.
Note that it’s important to destroy any personal data that may be stored on old devices, such as computers or cell phones, before taking them to be recycled. This protects your valuable identity and information. Use your search engine to locate a drop-off center near you. Alternatively, if your devices are old, but still in working order, consider wiping all data then donating these devices to organizations that may be able to use them. Examples include American Veterans (AmVets), Easter Seals, and the Salvation Army. Alternatively, many electronics manufacturers feature a take-back program: They will accept their used products for recycling.
How to dispose of batteries
Batteries represent a special challenge for most consumers when it comes to disposal and/or recycling. That’s partially because these devices can be especially problematic if they end up in landfills. And partially because few consumers know how to go about safely disposing of used batteries.
At Batter Battery Co., we’ve considered the carbon impact of every step of the battery manufacturing, shipping and disposal process. Our exclusively alkaline batteries are designed to be recyclable, and that includes the very packaging we use to ship, store, and recycle our batteries. In partnership with Call2Recycle, we ensure that every bit of every one of our batteries gets recycled into useful, downstream items.
How to dispose of unwanted cords
Modern life runs on cords and cables. Who among us doesn’t have a tangled collection of these items lurking in a forgotten box somewhere? Why not recycle those old cords, which often contain valuable metals such as copper, or other metals? Take them to your local recycling center, municipal recycling event, or even big box store that offers such services.
How to dispose of small electronics
Delete files and/or remove SIM cards that may contain sensitive data and take these items to a recycler, such as Call2Recycle, or your local electronic waste collection site. Or, consider donating these items to charities that may be able to give them a second life.
How to dispose of large electronics
Delete all files, and consider restoring factory settings on items such as smart TVs. Wrap cords into a bundle, and tape them to the unit. If still working, consider donating to a charity that may be able to make use of your appliance. Otherwise, take them to a local recycling center.
Think beyond waste: Buy new electronics made with recycled components
Finally, you can support sustainability by looking for new devices that make use of old recycled materials. Many electronic brands have begun creating special lines of products made with recycled metals and plastics. Other brands have even begun including recycled materials into all of their products. Keep in mind, however, that many products claim to be made of recycled materials, but only really include a small percentage of reused components. When shopping, make sure to look for information about the amount of recycled product used for the item you look to buy.
Or better yet, look for products that have been made with the full product lifecycle in mind. Here at Better Battery Company, we don’t just recycle our batteries: All of our packaging is recycled and all of the carbon created during production, shipping, and recycling is offset using carbon credits. This way, you can rest easy knowing your batteries do not have a negative impact in the world.
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