Electronic waste. One of the most difficult forms of waste to dispose. Old or broken electronic devices can be lying around in our houses or premises. Surprisingly, they can be valuable!
Electronics make for some bad waste. Not only do toxic substances leak in the environment and poison the surrounding soil and water; electronics also contain rare materials. Extracting those materials already took a toll on the environment. Modern technology however, allows us to recycle e-waste and produce new devices.
What to do with old devices?
At the end of its life, you can choose a number of destinies for your device. The worst choices you can make are trashing it or sending it to incinerators. You can responsibly dispose of them, unless you decide to reuse them.
1) Reuse old devices or parts
You may be surprised that there are different ways to find a new task for your device. This can take a bit of time and creativity though.
Examples could be turning your old computer into a web server, you can try Linux, or you can donate the computing power of your outdated laptop to science. Even your last generation phone or tablet still can be useful. Old Android devices are very good audio players or gaming devices.
Any smartphone can become an alarm clock or Skype phone. An outdated tablet or iPad can become a digital photo frame.
If you do not want to use the entire device, you can still use its parts! For example, you can use an old hard drive by using it as an external drive or media center!
2) Gift old devices to a friend or random stranger
This sounds like something one would not usually do, but it is better than throwing away your device when you know someone who may have needed it.
3) Up cycle electronic devices
Up cycling is the process of turning an object into something useful. For example, a car written off by the authorities via an auto accident attorney due to an accident, used as scrap metal.
4) Donate to charity
This is the noblest way to dispose your stuff. It not only works for furniture and clothes, but also electronics. They can be machines for schools or help others in need.
5) Sell your gadgets
If you have an old Mac or iPhone, you can choose to put it on eBay and they will sell it as a refurbished model.
6) Recycle broken electronic devices and computer parts
If all options you have thought of have been exhausted, make sure the gadget gets properly recycled. In some countries, stores have to take back electronic waste and recycle it. Many cities also offer recycling stations for people to take old gadgets for recycling purposes.
Keep the environment clean
Generally, any electronic device or its parts can go through reuse, up cycling, gifted, donated, trade, sold or recycled. Ideally, all devices will go through all these stages before being re-born as a new gadget and starting the cycle again. If you have any electronics lingering I your home, the hope is that the article has given ideas on what to do with them. 🙂