Whenever someone throws away a VCR or CD player for a newer model, they contribute to the piles of electronic waste filling landfills. Known as e-waste, unwanted electronics can be incredibly dangerous to the environment.
If not properly disposed of, e-waste can seep toxic chemicals into soil, water, and air. Thankfully, there are several ways to properly dispose of your electronics as a consumer and business owner.
1. Curbside Collection
Depending on where you live, curbside collection can be a great option for recycling electronics. This is where a waste hauler picks up your trash and recycling for you and places them in designated containers on your home’s curbside. Items like glass (like mason jars), metals, and rigid plastics are always curbside recyclable, but electronics, batteries, and light bulbs are not.
As Albany increasingly relies on technology, consumers often find themselves with obsolete or broken hardware. There are other answers than throwing these items into regular trash, as these devices can contain hazardous and toxic materials, such as cadmium, lead, and mercury. Instead, these items should be sold to a qualified electronics recycling Albany, NY service or disposed of as hazardous waste.
It is illegal to throw e-waste in with the trash or regular recycling in NYC and many other states, as this can release toxic chemicals into the environment. Instead, you can find a local household hazardous waste facility that accepts electronics for safe disposal.
Some retailers also host electronics recycling events. You can also check with local stores if they offer buy-back programs or trade-in options for old devices. Before donating your old computer or cellphone, make sure to wipe all of your personal information.
2. Household Hazardous Waste Facilities
Many items that can be disposed of as household hazardous waste (HHW), including e-waste, can be recycled by visiting your local HHW facility. These facilities often have special bins or receptacles for electronics. Often, they will accept items from businesses not part of a manufacturer takeback program, such as alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
HHW facilities also offer recycling programs for other leftover household products that contain ingredients that can be toxic, corrosive, or ignitable. These ingredients, such as those found in paint thinners, fluorescent lights, and batteries, can pollute the environment if poured down drains, on the ground, into storm sewers, or thrown away with regular trash.
HHW programs can help reduce this environmental impact by keeping chemicals out of the environment and allowing residents to recycle these items. These chemicals may be repurposed or incinerated for fuel, depending on the program. Residents can find HHW collection events and facilities by contacting their municipal environmental, health, or solid waste agency.
3. Recycling Centers
If you want to avoid dumping your electronics in a dumpster, check with local recycling centers. They’re not only better for the environment but can create new jobs as well. New York has many facilities that recycle electronics and other e-waste like batteries, light bulbs, etc.
When electronics are thrown in the trash, they can seep toxic chemicals into the soil and water, causing health problems like kidney damage, bone disease, and cancer. It also causes air pollution and wastes resources.
Donations and second-hand sales are the best way to get rid of electronics. Many charities accept working electronic devices. You can also donate to your local schools and churches. A school or church may need a computer running on last year’s software or a DVD player to play educational videos for kids. For a fee, junk removal companies can pick up and recycle your old PCs, printers, monitors, laptops, and other electronics.
Rather than throwing away your old electronics, you can donate them to charitable organizations in your community. These groups may accept TVs (excluding CRT, DLP, and tube models), computers, cellphones, and kitchen appliances like microwaves or air conditioning units. However, before you donate any electronic devices, wipe the hard drive on a computer or cell phone to delete personal information and prevent identity theft. Donated devices can also be sold to repair shops and used as parts for newer gadgets.