The Proper Disposal of Electronic Waste

Computers, cell phones, TVs, blenders, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and batteries are just some of the many electronic products and devices in your home. These devices are not indestructible; in fact, many are prone to malfunction or become outdated. The result is electronic waste. When your electronics need to be disposed of it is important to understand how to dispose of them properly.

When buying any electronic item, the last thing that comes to mind is the possibility of the product becoming a hazardous waste when thrown away. Most electronics are designed to last a long time; however they also leave a trail of outdated contraptions as new creations and devices are brought to market. As such, some of the electronic items may not be damaged but simply lose their relevance. They are then categorized as electronic scrap.

Man has become fully dependent on electronic devices. It is imperative that proper disposal of electronics become the standard when getting rid of outdated devices. As more and more devices are launched the need to address the electronic waste generated by us is vital. Hence, having a viable electronic disposal management strategy in place is something nations should start implementing. Much of the electronic waste (e-waste) is recyclable and reusable. Anything that is of little or no use can be disposed of in a safe manner.

Electronic disposal starts when a device needs repair. It is at that moment when recycling begins – when an electronic component in the gadget needs to be replaced. Most electrical products are a combination of many components joined to form one thing. Some of the components are made from materials such as mercury and brominated flame retardants. These components are hazardous and require proper disposal of electronic products.

E-Waste Disposal and Management

As mentioned, recycling starts the moment a component in an electrical device needs to be replaced. It may be that the component is malfunctioning or dead and the broken component becomes electronic scrap. Or the device may not be repairable and rarely renders the product useless; the only thing that changes is its intended use. Repurposing and reusing electronic devices is the most effective way to properly recycle electronic devices. To learn more about recycling household appliances read our article, Recycling Electronics: How to Repurpose Your Household Appliances. There are also many ways manufacturers and retailers can help in electronic scrap challenges.

Old phones that still work and can be used to make calls and send texts can also be donated to charity or sold. Certain electronic retail outlets, especially most major retail chains, accept items for electronic items for recycling when someone buys a new electronic product. Computer retailers often take old computers and give a discounted price for the purchase of new ones. Some manufacturers accept items for recycling that are their brands and give discounted prices for the purchase of similar new products.

Donating electronic products such as televisions, outdated computers, or microwaves to charity is another option that reduces the amount of electronic waste in landfills. Certain organizations repair or improve machines and donate them to underdeveloped countries as resource tools for learning.

On the other hand, some devices may be entirely dead and not easily donated or repaired. These devices should be given to companies that handle e-waste. Electronic waste disposal management centers are the best places to dispose of it because they prepare, separate, and categorize the waste for repurposing.

Where To Find E-Waste Recycling Centers

A disposal center focuses on the safe handling of the waste. A recycling center does the same but also has systems in place to make new things from some of the e-waste. Recycling centers often follow processes that optimize the use of discarded electronic scrap.

It is important to scrutinize the waste company to ensure that it can safely handle e-waste. More often than not, such companies charge a fee or buy electronic waste. If a recycler is simply accepting electronic waste, they are most likely stripping the waste down to valuable metals in an effort to sell the metals at cost.

A safe way of find a electronic scrap disposal center is to check with the local waste management authorities to find a reputable electronic waste handling facility.