Posts Tagged ‘electronics recycling’

Day 91 – Recycle Electronics

Integrated Circuits

So you have an old computer sitting in storage and there’s that old cell phone that you kept in case you needed some information from it.  There’s the printer that doesn’t work and besides, the cord is for a computer that might as well be a dinosaur.  Well, there is hope for these items.  They can be recycled.

You can’t just put electronics in your recycling bin at home.  Contact your city to see if they have a special collection or a drop-off point.  Try calling your recycling company, too.  Even if they don’t take these items, they may know who will.  In my town, there is an electronics recycling day.  It is wildly popular!  People come from miles around and fill a couple of semi truck beds full of old electronics. 

What happens to these old electronics?  Some of them are put directly into use: computers for underprivileged children, cell phones for the elderly to use for emergencies, and simply resale.  Others are disassembled and stripped of valuable materials that can be recycled individually.  You should ask what will happen to your old electronics.  You want a reputable company doing these things.  If your electronics end up in a third-world country that burns them to extract the more valuable materials, the plastics will cause a super toxin to form in the air, and that affects the air we all breathe.

Day 15 – Rechargeable Batteries

Computer Chips

 

In today’s world, we are plugged in!  Our activities are filled with cell phones, mp3 players, cordless home or office phones, digital book readers, video cameras, digital cameras, and radios.  All of these portable electronics need power to run. 

Many of our electronics come with their own rechargeable batteries and a charger.  Sometimes we have a choice of rechargeable or disposable batteries as with digital cameras.  Imagine my surprise the last time I ordered a digital camera and it came with disposable batteries!  Now, I pay attention to the detailed specifications of the power requirements before buying portable electronics.  We’re switching to rechargeable batteries which we have to purchase separately. 

Rechargeable batteries are significantly more expensive than disposable ones, but I believe that you’ll get your money’s worth out of the purchase within a relatively short time and you’ll help the environment in the meantime!  Too often, people I know make decisions based on today’s need and total cost for today when they’re shopping.  Smart shoppers compare not only today’s cost, but the long-term cost of a particular product.  Think of your purchasing power this way: How many disposable batteries would you need to buy over the next several years to compare to the life of a rechargeable battery? 

Whether you use rechargeable or disposable batteries, don’t throw them in the trash when you’re finished with them!  The same goes for the electronics powered by the batteries.  Take a few minutes and figure out where you can recycle these specialty items.  Big box electronics stores often have a drop-off area; the post office here has free envelopes to mail your cell phones and inkjet cartridges to a recycler; and once a year there is an electronics recycling day put on by our local chamber of commerce to recycle all old electronics big and small.  If you can’t find a recycling center, start your own for your neighborhood!