4 Important Things To Know About Recycling Electronics

Posted on: 18 January 2022

From computers to cell phones to tablets, most electronics don't have a very long shelf life. At the same time, electronics contain precious materials, which is why it is so important to ensure that you properly recycle your electronics when you are done using them.  

1. Electronics Contain Toxic Elements 

Most electronics contain toxic elements. These elements are fine for you to be around when you are using electronic devices; however, if you leave your device outside to degrade, which is what essentially happens when you send your device to when it goes to a landfill.  

When thrown into a landfill, these materials will eventually leak out and get into the soil and the groundwater, causing harm to the environment, animals, and people that encounter these materials. Electronics contain toxic elements such as lead, mercury, and beryllium, which is why they need to be appropriately recycled and not just thrown out with the trash.  

2. Electronics Contain Valuable Elements 

Second, the electronic devices that you use every day, such as your computer, generally contain a host of precious metals. When you throw away your computer, you throw away metals that took considerable resources to mine and are now lost.  

A computer may contain several metals, such as silver, zinc, palladium, chromium, copper, gold, iron, and aluminum, just to name a few of the many metals found inside computers. When your laptop is recycled, those precious metals can be reused from your computer and not lost to the junkyard.  

3. Electronics Can Be Reused 

Just because you have decided that your computer is obsolete for you doesn't mean that it isn't functional anymore. One way to recycle your old computer is to donate it. Many non-profit organizations and schools can use old computers for their operations. They can use them as learning tools for students or use them for day-to-day operating tasks.  

If you decide to donate your computer, you will want to do a factory reset on the computer before donating it; that way, all your data will be removed. 

4. Electronics Can be Recycled 

Numerous programs help with recycling old electronics, such as computers. Most stores that sell electronics run their own recycling programs and have drop-off centers or areas so that you can ensure that your electronics are properly recycled. Many city waste management programs also now have recycling programs where you can either have the items picked up or arrange to drop them off to ensure they are properly recycled.  

Don't put them out in the trash when you are done with your old electronics, such as your computer and cell phone. You would be throwing away precious metals and throwing away something that can be toxic when left to break down on its own. Instead, donate or recycle your electronics so that their materials can be reused in purposeful ways.  

For more information about computer recycling, contact a local company.