How To Dispose of Old Electronics

Electronic waste, also known as e-waste, has detrimental effects on the environment. Most electronic devices contain toxic substances that can harm humans when not disposed of properly. Machines supplied by power or battery must be discarded appropriately. TVs, phones, toasters, electric shavers, lamps, and refrigerators are just a few examples of electronic devices that can cause harm when not scrapped correctly. 

Electronic devices are interwoven in most parts of western life. They are used in homes, offices, factories, retail outlets. According to the United Nations, “In 2019, approximately 53.6 million metric tons (Mt) of e-waste (excluding PV panels) was generated, or 7.3 kg per capita. It is estimated that the amount of e-waste generated will exceed 74Mt in 2030. Thus, the global quantity of e-waste is increasing at an alarming rate of almost 2 Mt per year.”  

Although the best way to prevent waste is not to create it, this can be challenging in our digital-first world. One approach to reducing harmful e-waste is reusing devices. Manage your device’s life cycle by utilizing hard drives or the Cloud (TechHouse can assist with Cloud migration), update your products, and sweep for viruses regularly. Alternatively, consider buying appliances that aren’t battery-dependent. 

How can you safely say goodbye to old electronics? 

Donate devices 

Before disposing of any electronics, determine if someone else can reuse your devices. Consider donating it to a not-for-profit or charity. 

Wipe out your data 

This step is more than removing your sim card. Ensure you log out of all your accounts; backup and remove all data with digital storage. Find the “factory reset” or “hard reset” option in your device’s settings to restore its factory function. Need more info? Check out this piece by Nicholas De Leon, a decade-long consumer electronics writer. DeLeon provides information on wiping Apple, Windows, and Linux devices. 

Recycle your electronics 

The Consumer Technology Association provides a search engine to input your zip code to locate the nearest recycling location. This feature also indicates what electronics each site accepts.  

Dump the waste… but properly 

You can discard electronic devices at a hazardous waste facility. Some facilities pick up, while others require drop-off services. You can use the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) search engine to locate local Hazardous Waste Management Facilities.  

TechHouse invites you to do your part to prevent e-waste and educate others. Share this post to spread the word!