Welcome. You’ve come to the right place to learn how to successfully recycle used electronics and even make money from it. But first what is electronic waste? Let’s dive right in.
What is Electronic Waste?
source: Skitterphoto, pexels
Electronic waste also known as ewaste is any electronic equipment that’s no longer functioning and cannot be repaired. These include devices such as laptops, desktop computers, hard drives, cell phones, entertainment devices to mention a few.
A lot of us don’t bother recycling electronics, because we really do not know how to go about it or simply because we just can’t be bothered about the process; but what if I told you it’s not a complicated process…and that it’s a win win for us and our environment if we recycle electronics the right way?
Closed Loop Recycling
source: Ready made, pexels
Electronics recycling is great for us and our environment. In fact this is a great way to close the loop! We also preserve the earth and save money at the same time or even make money! More of this make money part later on in this post!
Sometimes we tend to forget that apart from paper, cans/bottles/plastics and organics, electronics can also be recycled! I’ve seen some office buildings and even some homes where they store old electronic equipment in their storage rooms for years before deciding what to do with them.
Ewaste Stats are Scary!
According to the UN website, about 50 million tonnes of ewaste is produced in a year Up 5% in only 5 years and it is believed that this weighs more than all of the commercial airlines made. The sad part is 20% is recycled.
It is also believed that the ewaste numbers will continue to climb and it is predicted that the numbers will get to 74 million tonnes in the next 10 years! Ridiculous isn’t it?
But it is up to you and I to do something about these numbers.
Why are the Ewaste Figures Climbing?
The answer is Technology! It is not surprising that the ewaste figures are going up and this is due to ever-changing technology. Some of us want the latest phones, computers….the list goes on and because of this we change our electronics frequently! Consider options like repair or trade-ins or just donating stuff.
Indeed, technology – computers, tablets, iPad and cellphones whether android or apple have changed the lives of people worldwide. This is true…but we need to do our part, discourage our relatives and friends from throwing old electronics into the garbage.
Instead, lets find new homes for them or just recycle them. If we do this we not only increase the rate of recycling old electronics but we also protect ourselves, our health and even our environment. Yes! We do this for ourselves and future generations.
Repair before Recycling!
Before recycling electronic waste, consider repairing it. This will help reduce the amount of electronic waste you generate. If it can’t be repaired, then you can consider recycling and even try buying secondhand before buying a new one.
If you have to buy new, ensure you buy quality products that will last long. The main thing here is that, you want to hold on to the electronics you have for as long as possible. This also applies to so many other things in our homes such as dinnerware, cooking pots, baking dishes, furniture…the list goes one.
Quality products will give you peace of mind.
Steps to take to Recycle your Old Device
Here are steps to take in order to successfully recycle used electronics:
1. Securely Erase the data on your device.
If you’re thinking of recycling computers, iPad, tablets and phones, ensure you securely erase the data on your device. This is the very first step you need to take before you let go of your device. You want to make sure you have erased your data to prevent anyone from accessing your information. But! Make sure you back up your data before deleting it permanently.
2. Sell your device and make money
A great way to make money is by selling your old device on Gazelle.com. Gazelle is well-known for the recycling of used electronics. They will purchase your tablets and smartphones and pay you. This company also ensures devices are recycled in an environmentally conscious manner. Gazelle is a reputable company that buys and sells pre-owned consumer electronics.
Wondering how to get started? Simply go to their website gazelle.com, find your item and let them know the condition of your device. They’ll give you an offer within minutes. Ship your item to them and you get paid super fast by PayPal, cheque or amazon gift card!
The experts at Gazelle will inspect your device in order to provide an accurate payment amount. Upon buying your old device, after inspection, they certify it and then sell to consumers looking for a cost effective way to stay connected without having to break the bank.
One thing I really like about Gazelle is this, if you send in your device and it does not match what you described originally, a revised offer will be presented to you. If you’re not satisfied with the new offer, Gazelle will send your device back to you and pay for shipping!
Having a garage sale is another way to make money from your used electronics instead of throwing them out or just storing them in your basement.
3. Certified Recyclers and Drop off Locations
Some ewaste companies have partnered with electronics stores such as Best buy where you can just drop off unwanted electronics such as computers and cellular phones. Inquire about dropping off old electronics from your local electronics shop.
Look up certified ewaste Recyclers around you and let them help you recycle your ewaste in an environmentally responsible manner.
A great way is to find an E-steward Certified Ewaste Recycler. An E-steward is a group of experts that ensure businesses are disposing of electronic waste in an environmentally friendly manner. What’s really interesting about them is that they are all working together to put an end to illegal trading of electronic waste!
4. Contact your Local Government
Just like there are days set aside for certain items such as clothes swap, there is usually a day assigned for ewaste collection by organizations and residents are notified of drop off locations where they can bring their ewaste.
I’ve been to a few ewaste drives and I have even participated in some. If you are an organization and you have loads of old ewaste sitting in your storage. For an individual looking to dispose of ewaste, it’s best to contact your municipality or check their website.
You can also ask your local electronics shops if they take back old electronics for recycling.
5. Donate to Charity
Used or old devices you no longer have any use for can be donated because they may be useful to other people. Your waste may become another man’s resource! There are many organizations and businesses that would gladly take your old device. As long as the item is still working, it is best to donate it or even pass it on to someone else who needs it.
Benefits of Recycling Old Electronics
Recycling your old electronics can only result in wonderful things for our planet Earth. Here are the benefits:
1. Natural Resource Conservation
source: Nikolas_Boudah pixabay
When we recycle old electronics, valuable materials are recovered and these materials are used to make new products. This means we save natural resources because fewer raw materials are extracted from our earth and in some cases none! Another reason recycling pays off is the energy savings, pollution is reduced and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.
2. Environmental Protection
Toxic substances such as cadmium, lead and mercury that could have made their way into waterways are managed by authorized ewaste Recyclers.
3. Job Creation
Source: Austin Distel, Unsplash
Recycling electronic waste opens up job opportunities for Recyclers. It also creates a market for these recyclables.
4. Diverts electronics and metals from landfill:
Recycling electronics means they won’t end up in landfills. When ewaste ends up in landfill, it contaminates groundwater. This also means that useful metals like copper, silver and gold can be recovered and processed into new products.
5. Shows your commitment either as an individual or Organization
A very easy way to show your commitment or that of your organizations’s to the environment is by recycling. In fact, these days employees really want to work for businesses that are doing their part for the environment and the community. So whether you’re an individual or an organization, it is important to do your part.
If electronic waste is not properly managed, it can result in huge loss of scarce raw materials like platinum, gold, cobalt and other elements.
I hope you enjoyed reading my post on how to successfully recycle your used electronics and even make money from it. Recycling ewaste ensures the valuables inside your old electronics are recovered, recycled and reused – reducing our overall carbon footprint and lessening our dependence on mining for new resources.
It also diverts ewaste from landfill, where it can emit greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and other harmful toxins!
Whether you intend to donate to charity, make money from your device or just simply give it away, ensure the step you take will not harm mankind and the environment. Planet Earth is ours to protect….for ourselves and future generations.
I hope you found this post helpful and if you have questions about electronics recycling or want to leave your own personal review, leave a comment below.