In this day and age, we rely on electronic devices for all kinds of things. However, these devices don’t last forever. Eventually, they are going to stop working.
You shouldn’t let these items sit around taking up space in your home, but you shouldn’t carelessly dispose of them either. Here’s what you need to know about e-waste recycling.
You Should Never Throw Your Old Electronics Out
If you have non-functioning electronics, your first instinct may be to toss them in the garbage. However, you should try to avoid doing this. In some states, it is actually illegal to dispose of electronics along with regular garbage.
So what can you do? You can donate these old electronics, sell them, or recycle them. You have plenty of options.
Recycle Your Electronics In The Right Place
You can’t take your electronics to any old facility if you want to recycle them. You will have to make sure that the place you take the to is qualified to handle electronics.
Not every recycling facility deals with every type of recyclable. Find out whether or not you will be able to bring your computer to a facility before you drive over there.
See What Else You Can Bring In
Sometimes, you may have to drive a bit in order to get to a recycling facility. To make things easier on yourself, you should check to see what else you will be able to take in. Recycle everything that you can!
Most people don’t know that much about e-waste recycling, and that’s perfectly okay. What matters is that people take the time to learn more when they have the chance to recycle something. Make sure that you are handling your old electronics the right way. Don’t get rid of them without doing some research!
The future of electronics recycling is bright as long as people realize the gold that can be found in our wastefulness. There are at present huge landfills of old computers, electronic appliances, older model cellphones, and legacy systems that for the most part can still be usable but were discarded mostly due to forced obsoletion. Export issues, consumer electronics collections, and legislation can also further influence this emerging market. We are in need of Asset Management in order to go about systemically disposing,upgrading, maintaining, deploying, and processing of assets in order to limit wastage and maximize resources. You want to be cost-effective about your forced obsoletion. While making consumers want to buy gadgets every six months to two years ensures a healthy economy, the waste created by it should be better addressed so that we don’t end up burning money.
Managing Assets Through Electronics Recycling
* There are multiple ways to go about managing your assets. You can forego induced or forced obsoletion by not buying a new device six to two years after release and instead skipping generations to buy a more advanced device five to ten years later instead in order to maximize the lifespan of your existing piece of electronics. You can also support the aftermarket industry by buying electronics secondhand as long as they’re still usable and serve their purpose.
* This type of asset managing can be seen with the rise of retrogaming and the use of twenty to forty year old consoles from a bygone era or utilizing “burner phones” that lack the advancements of smartphones but can still be used to call and text anyone. Finally, assets management can be observed in real time by taking better care of the disposal and recycling of obsolete tech so that while the tenets of consumerism is still observed, your resources can still be better handled.
* Recycling old cases, motherboards, circuit boards, chips, or even their base components and raw materials is optimal. Although the demise of cathode-ray tube television sets and monitors means that fewer of these obsolete electronics will be entering the recycling stream, replaced by flat screens that are smaller and lighter, there’s still quite the active niche market of people who use, recycle, refurbish, and redistribute CRT products from the bygone era of two to three decades ago.
Asset management is all about cost-effectively disposing your assets so that the process of manufacturing and disposing electronics is as smooth as possible and doesn’t result in excessive wastage (the same way food management ensures you only pay for enough food without ending up with food waste that costs you upwards of millions when it could instead be fed to the homeless and indigent for charitable purposes). The idea of E-Waste Recycling has been around ever since our electronic appliance waste has grown significantly, resulting in huge landfills and scrapyards filled with tons of reusable metal, plastic, and other materials. In the financial world, asset management refers to managing investments by individuals and organizations on behalf of others. This type of management is similar to the electronic recycling one because both involve minimizing wastage and there’s money to be had from “waste”.
Recycling Makes Sense and Cents
* Recycling and managing your electronics better makes as much sense (and cents) as better food management. While no one wants to recycle rotten food, you can cut down on wasted food and dollars by donating unsold food to the poor for charity, buying only the food that you need, finishing your food to minimize what goes to the trash, and using decomposing food for fertilizer (among other things) so that your food waste isn’t really wasted.
* In turn, “obsolete” technology can still be recycled in the form of selling them as used products, refurbished electronics, or spare parts in the aftermarket industry. You can even process them further to their base materials in the scrapyard so that you can reuse their plastic, metal, and other components for further creation of new electronics. CRTs and huge box monitors can also be recycled as antiques or sold to retro tech enthusiasts.
* Consumers can also save money by not following trends and buying tech every other update rather than every six months to two years. There are also technological advancements in recycling and electronic waste disposal that leads to significant size reduction and smaller materials footprint so that our landfills won’t take up so much space in terms of volume when all is said and done. Makers of these electronics should also recycle and reuse more of their materials to reduce resource wastage.
The electronics recycling industry has been flooded—practically inundated—by computer equipment such as PC monitors, the actual PC itself (complete with motherboard and chips), and other appliances related to it like keyboards and mice since forever. It has dominated the volumes handled by this market for a long time. The International Data Corporation shows that 60% of the industry weight and input volumes are from computers and Computer Recycling. However, nowadays, there has been a 10% decline of laptop and desktop waste management, replaced instead by increasing shipments of tablets and smartphones that exceed the previous milestones of electronics tonnage that computers used to dominate. A billion smartphones were shipped in 2013, and that number just increased in 2016. It won’t let up until a new technological device can usurp the smartphone industry.
Regardless, Everything Needs Recycling
* You can either dispose everything wholesale by putting them in the scrapyard or landfill, dismantle the electronics to recycle their base metal, plastic, and glass components (the glass may even need to be melted again), or use the functioning secondhand parts for spare parts and computer repair. There’s also the aftermarket that continues to sell vintage electronics from old TVs to game consoles to interested parties and those who have a strong sense of nostalgia in them.
* These old tech are now going the way of the dinosaurs as far as the recycling stream is concerned. Actually, recycling is kind of easier nowadays. Instead of having to process or recycle individual computer appliances, you can have a computer and mouse (or touchpad) in one with a laptop. Ditto with the smartphone that doubles as a photo camera, video camera, game console, and computer with apps all rolled into one device with a smaller footprint than mainframes with a micro-fraction of its processing power.
* Smartphones are still part of computers recycling because they’re essentially miniature computers. The PC Era of asset management and computer recycling mostly dealt with electronics that occupied a lot of space. You have your CRT monitors, desktops with loads of chips connected to the motherboard, and appliances like mice (mouse) and keyboards that require separate processing or recycling each. As computers became smaller, they also became more resource-conserving and recyclable.