Did you know that the amount of electricity needed to power 3,500 average American homes for a whole year could be saved by recycling just one million laptops? Electronics that have reached the end of their useful life can be donated to charity or recycled to help preserve energy, cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, and prevent air and water pollution.
Computers and screens contain harmful chemicals like lithium, lead, and mercury. These materials pose risks to human and environmental health when discarded. In that case, coordinated recycling is a potential solution to this issue.
But you may ask, “What options do I have for recycling my old electronics?”
In this article, we’ll discuss the answer to this question. To get started, let’s define what we mean by “electronic waste.”
First of All, What Is Electronic Waste?
When electrical or electronic gadgets are thrown away, they contribute to what is known as “e-waste.” Televisions, cell phones, tablets, and laptops are all examples of electronic gadgets that fall under this category.
According to some estimates, Americans throw away more than $55 billion in electronic garbage every year, and in 2019, only approximately 17.4% of all electronic waste worldwide was recycled. There is a need to replace these obsolete gadgets, but doing so requires enormous inputs of resources like water, chemicals, and fossil fuels. If there was a standardized approach to recycling electronics, we could save so much material.
Why Is There a Need to Recycle Old Electronic Items?
Various minerals, such as aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, copper, indium, lead, lithium, and mercury, are extracted from the ground and used in the manufacturing of electrical devices. These elements can seep into the groundwater if they aren’t recycled properly and end up in a landfill or an unsecured waste facility.
Recycling discarded items and materials is just as vital as avoiding hazardous substances for the sake of energy conservation. It’s important to remember that every piece of electronic waste that ends up in a landfill may have been put to better use somewhere.
The Different Ways to Mitigate Electronic Waste
In order to “conserve resources and [lower] the amount of energy we extract from the globe,” an article released by Harvard University suggests that we cut down on our reliance on electronic devices.
- Extend the Lifespan of Electronics
Proper care is one of the most efficient means of keeping electronics out of landfills. Screen protectors, phone cases, and cautious use can extend the useful life of electronics and reduce the frequency with which they must be replaced.
- Invest in Electronics That Are Better for the Environment
Products certified as Energy Star are generally more energy-efficient than competitors. In the United States of America, customers can often receive tax credits when they purchase environmentally friendly goods.
In addition, there are groups like the Green Electronics Council that work to inform the public, lobby on their behalf, and foster partnerships with regular people to create a world where technology isn’t harmful to our everyday lives.
- Recycle Batteries and Electronics
Avoid sending batteries and devices to landfills by making an active decision to recycle them. We’ll examine the benefits of giving away old equipment later in this piece.
- Re-Evaluate Purchases
To do this, you need to give serious consideration to every purchase you make. For instance, if your current phone is still functional, you may want to wait before upgrading to the latest model.
Indeed, there are many things to consider when recycling electronics. Some of these things include the environmental impact of recycling, the types of materials that are recyclable, and the best way to recycle electronics. By taking these things into account, people can recycle their electronics in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
If you are looking for an institution that would help you with electronics recycling in Atlanta, look no further than our services here at Green Atlanta Recycling. We provide complete sustainable, cost-effective solutions for the recycling and disposal of electronics to businesses and residential customers around Atlanta. Call us today and let us discuss the old electronics that you may be planning to recycle.