Dec. 14, 2021
Look around. You probably have old computers, laptops, DVD players, cell phones, batteries, and other dated electronics lying around your house.
There are all kinds of electronics that you might be ready to get rid of but aren't sure how to properly dispose of. Old electronics and electronic waste can be recycled, but it's important to recycle them the correct way.
If electronics are simply thrown out or destroyed, they can be a hazard to yourself and the environment. To be environmentally friendly, and to keep yourself safe, Blade has put together some quick tips about getting rid of electronics the right way
How Do I Recycle Old Electronics?
Recycling electronics can sometimes seem like a hassle but taking your old tech to a recycling center or drop-off location is the best and safest option.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources provides a list of recycling programs and recycle locators near you.
Your city might offer e-waste pick-ups a few times a year. They may even hold an electronic recycling drive for you to take your old devices to.
Other recycling options include checking the website of the manufacturer of your device. Some manufacturers may even offer mail-in options for smaller devices.
You can also try searching for recycling centers or events in your zip code to properly dispose of your items.
Where should I sell old electronics?
Sites like eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and a good old fashioned garage sale are all options for selling.
Depending on what you have, your old devices may not be worth a lot anymore, but it doesn't hurt to try. If you have a more outdated model of a cell phone or laptop, some companies might offer some value for a trade-in.
If you have a vintage radio, computer, or other similar electronic, some collectors might offer money.
It just depends on what you have and determining your best course of action based on what your item is worth.
Can you put old electronics in the trash?
The worst possible thing you can do is throw electronic devices straight in the trash.
The improper disposal of e-waste is illegal in many states due to toxic materials that could enter the environment. Lead, zinc, mercury, nickel, cadmium, and other chemicals are common in electronics. When electronics are thrown in the trash, these chemicals have a greater chance of entering waterlines and the air and causing severe harm.
Should I disassemble old electronics?
Most toxins in electronics are not harmful until the equipment is disassembled. Taking apart electronics on your own, without proper education or training, can cause the toxins to escape and cause harm. It's safest to recycle the piece or take it to an expert if you're needing to keep a certain part.
Should I wipe my old computer before recycling it?
Clearing your hard drive and wiping your cell phone or computer clean before donating, selling, or recycling is a good step to take. Most devices offer quick ways to wipe your personal data and information, but some brands might require a few more steps. Check out some tips from Consumer Reports.
If you don't clear your computer yourself, you can also ask for a certificate of destruction from the e-cycler you go to.
Can I donate old electronics?
Churches, schools, community centers, and nursing homes are all great places to check and see if they accept donations. Some places might need a new TV or computer and your old electronics can be brand new for them.
It’s best to call ahead, as this can be a case-by-case basis.
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