If technology is forever changing what do we do with "last year's model"? If you're anything like me you just toss it aside or in the back of a closet to be forgotten over time. However, over time, those items tend to escalate in numbers and we have to address their presence and how to deal with them. We're constantly told that throwing out our electronics in the household trash is a big no-no yet we're not really offered advice on how or where to dispose of our once coveted e-waste products.
Alas, there is a solution to our problem. E-cycling your e-waste is easier than ever! Some big box stores such as Target and Home Depot offer recycle bins at the entrances of their stores to offer you an easy and convenient way of disposing smaller e-waste items such as mp3 players, cellphones, batteries, and light bulbs.
So what do we do with the not-so-compact items such as computers and televisions? They are most likely the bulkiest of e-waste and are often the most improperly disposed of items. There is a wonderful website directory available to search for e-cyclers in your neighborhood or metropolitan area. E-cycling Central lists thousands of companies willing to dispose of your discarded items at little to no cost at all! For example, there are 47 different companies or locations within the state of Oregon that will recycle your e-waste for you. This is great news! Not only does it clear your household of dusty old clutter but it also keeps the e-waste out of the environment which benefits everyone involved!
Is recycling your electronics enough? Some people would say no. If you choose to buy products that are manufactured in a responsible way, use recycled materials, and provide information that they are environmentally friendly you will be doing your part in buying green electronics to help promote a safer and healthier environment. The United States Environmental Protection Agency offers advice from various programs they run to promote green electronics to obtaining statistical information on the e-waste problem our country (and world) is currently faced with.
Did you know that only 25% of all electronics sold, stored, and ready for disposal were recycled? (EPA)
This number is disturbing if you think about how saturated our world is with unwanted electronics left to pollute our neighborhoods, oceans, air, and soil.
The next time you think about tossing your old cellphone in the garbage add it to your shopping list as a reminder next time you head to your neighborhood Target, Walmart, or even Goodwill here in Oregon!
- E-cycling Central: http://www.ecyclingcentral.com/
- US EPA: http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/ecycling/