With the amount electronic upgrades increasing worldwide each year, properly disposing of electronic waste (e-waste) is becoming even more important. Whether upgrading a computer, gaming system, television or smartphone, ensure your business or household is not contributing to the global e-waste issue. Manufacturers don’t always proactively plan for what happens to their products at the end of their lives, so it becomes the responsibility of end users.
There are many ways to easily reuse and recycle electronics. Always be mindful of what happens to your electronics once they’ve reached the end of their useful lives; this will help re-route them from landfills to more practical uses.
One of the easiest ways to reducing e-waste without having to think about product recycling is to donate it! Whether continuing the electronics’ useful life with another user, or recycling, you should also think about the implications this has on your privacy. Don’t forget to remove any personal information from the electronic systems before passing it off to a friend, family member, colleague or recycler – this can save you significant headaches caused by someone getting hold of your documents, applications and passwords!
Why Recycle E-Waste
If electronic waste is not handled properly, it can contribute to air, land and water pollution. While many electronics can be recycled, either by reusing components for new electronics or ensuring hazardous materials are processed correctly, across the world many electronics are not recycled.
As a result, landfills and natural areas are being filled with computer scrap. This has negative implications on the environment!
Recycling e-waste greatly improves the chances that electronics (either in part or in whole) will not be discarded after the initial value of those components diminishes. These parts can be broken down, sorted, and sold to users who transform them back to raw materials or can repurpose the electronics for new uses.
Electronics Recycling: 3 Ways to Reduce E-Waste
You don’t need an IT professional to recycle electronics; it’s easier than ever to find a new home for these systems. If you’ve ever wondered what to do with electronic devices you no longer use, consider the following:
- See if someone you know can use the device. If you’re a parent, consider providing an old cell phone, tablet, laptop, or another type of device to a child as a starter.
- Donate it to a local organization. Many non-profit organizations will gladly accept donations of older computers and electronic devices.
- Check online for e-waste recycling services. Many charities and school groups fundraise by collecting e-waste. If you cannot find an electronic waste collection drive, contact your local stewardship program to have them recommend local e-waste recycling facilities. Many electronics retailers also offer e-waste recycling services, so you/your business may opt to drop off existing electronics when purchasing new ones in-store.
Before You Recycle E-Waste: Removing Personal Data
Don’t assume just because you’re recycling electronics that the information contained within those systems is secure! As electronics are recycled, hard drives and other components may be scanned or otherwise analyzed. While this doesn’t have to be done for nefarious reasons, there’s nothing to prevent unauthorized discovery and use of your data by someone down the recycling chain. It’s always best to err on the size of caution and remove all personal data first!
At Just Fix It, we recommend removing all personal data from computers and other electronic devices before recycling them. It’s our mission to empower people through technology; ensuring that your device upgrades go smoothly is just one of the ways we can help!
To discuss electronics recycling and data removal prior to getting rid of old systems, please contact us.