Computers, televisions, monitors, PDAs, cell phones, gaming consoles – most households own at least one or more of each of these devices and they quickly become obsolete, providing a need for recycling electronics.
Electronics equipment should never be disposed of in a landfill. It contains a wide variety of chemicals and hazardous substances which can leach into the soil and release toxic fumes if disassembled. These include heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium and organic chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls and brominated flame retardants. These substances have been proven to cause a variety of health hazards, including cancer. Obviously, safely recycling electronics is the best manner of disposal.
Electronics recycling centers collect various pieces of equipment and disassemble them manually, taking care to preserve the health of their workers. Toxic fumes and exposure to hazardous chemicals is carefully contained. Unusable waste is properly disposed of while working parts, plastics, and metals are salvaged for refurbishment or scrap.
Why Recycling Electronics is Important
Recycling electronics is important for a number of reasons. It provides personal, economic, and environmental benefits while reducing the negative impact of planned obsolescence. These benefits include:
• Creating additional space in your home or office by providing a new home for old and outdated electronics equipment.
• Supporting eco-friendly recycling facilities through the creation of jobs and other economic opportunities.
• Preventing hazardous waste from entering overflowing landfills.
• Preventing hazardous substances from threatening soil and groundwater quality.
• Helping sustain natural resources through the reclamation of metals and other components.
• Lessening the need for extracting new materials from natural resources.
• Allows refurbishment of equipment and components to provide inexpensive alternatives to those who may not be able to afford new products.
What Things Can You Recycle?
Nearly any type of electronics can be recycled, other than monitors and televisions which used cathode ray tubes (CRT). There are a handful of facilities which are able to recycle CRTs but a recycling collector or transporter is best able to find a place which can handle them.
In addition to computers and laptops, think about recycling all the accessories, such as:
• Cables and wires
• Circuit Boards
• Video Cards
Other recyclable devices include:
• VCRs/DVD players
• Cellular phones
• Gaming consoles
• MP3 players
• Stereo equipment
With this guideline, the importance of recycling electronics should be clear. Take your old electronics equipment and recycle it today!