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How To Recycle Technology

Did you know that humans generated 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste globally in 2019? To put that number into context, that’s equivalent to throwing out 1,000 laptops every second.

Electronic waste is a rapidly escalating problem, and yet many people are not aware of the severity of this issue. We’re living in a time of insatiable demand for electronic products, so it’s essential to learn how we can minimize e-waste.

Continue reading to learn how to recycle technology safely.

Why Recycle Technology?

There are many excellent reasons for choosing to recycle old technology. It saves space in landfills and helps reduce the problem of toxic waste. That’s because many electronic products contain toxic substances such as lead and mercury.

It’s important to take steps to look after our environment, and you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint by recycling technology. These products are made from valuable resources and materials which require energy to mine and manufacture. Recycled products create less air and water pollution, use less energy, and emit fewer greenhouse gases.

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Recycling is good for our planet and helps conserve natural resources. For every million mobile phones recycled, we recover 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium. And smartphones make up a significant proportion of this global e-waste problem.

There are plenty of reasons for businesses to take sustainable action too. A company with lots of electronic technology can enhance its reputation by recycling or donating the technology. For more info, check out this helpful guide for businesses that can help you determine if electronic recycling is the way to go.

The Three Best Ways To Recycle Technology

While it’s important to recycle, it’s arguably even more important to reduce and reuse our electronic equipment. Despite that, there will come a time when we must know how to recycle technology. It’s recommended to look for an organization that will reuse or refurbish your technology to maximize your positive environmental impact.

There are a few different eco-friendly methods of recycling. Let’s take a look at three of the best ways to recycle your old tech.

1. Take It To A Certified E-Waste Recycler

Certified electronic recyclers are audited to ensure they meet specific environmental standards to recycle and manage electronics safely. There are nonprofit organizations that can assist to recycle your old electronics. Use a recycling locator online to find your nearest certified recycling point.

Some companies claiming to recycle technology simply export their electronic waste to developing countries. Often, children in these countries earn money by combing the technology for gold, silver, iron, and copper. Yet, children are more vulnerable to the toxic chemicals they contain.

To avoid this, you can find certified drop-off locations via recycling organizations such as Call2Recycle. Those who are uncertified may dispose of equipment in a harmful manner.

2. Give It To An Electronic Company

Another option is to take your technology to electronics manufacturers and retailers. There are plenty of companies that specialize in electronic refurbishment who will be happy to assist you. The Environmental Protection Agency’s website features a chart that lets you search for recycling programs by product or company.

You can often return the old device from where it was bought, or you may be able to get a discount from the store where you’re buying its replacement from. It’s not unusual for tech companies to offer incentives to encourage consumers to recycle their old technology. Apple offers discounts on its products if you hand in an old model for recycling.

Many companies, including Best Buy and Staples, will accept your e-waste no matter where you bought it from, ensuring it is all safely recycled.

3. Donate It

Alternatively, you may prefer to give your used technology to a charity or nonprofit. It might still be useful, even if it no longer works, and it’s an easy way for you to support a good cause.

Charities are prepared to refurbish or recycle your old technology, so check local organizations and recreation centers to see where you can donate it. You can deduct the donation on next year’s tax return if you get a receipt.

There are many organizations that will accept your technology, but the World Computer Exchange is an excellent nonprofit that gives computers and similar technology to youth in developing countries.

What You Should Do Before Recycling Technology

Before you run off with your old equipment, take a look at the following helpful recycling tips. Your device will be accessible to others, so it’s very important to ensure your personal and private data is secure.

Begin by backing up all your data to a hard drive or the cloud. You may also want to transfer the data to your new device.

To ensure your sensitive data, such as passwords and photos, isn’t accessible to others, you should wipe the data by restoring the device back to its factory settings. You should also log in to your online accounts and disconnect access to the device.

Remove any batteries from the device as they may need to be recycled separately. And don’t forget to make sure that you’ve removed any attached storage such as memory cards or SIM cards.

Be Responsible And Reduce Your E-Waste Footprint

And now you know how to recycle technology safely. Whether you choose to hand it over to an organization or donate it, always try to recycle it responsibly to ensure you are doing your bit to help the environment.

Did you enjoy this article about recycling technology? Well, take a look at more excellent and informative blogs on our site.

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