Thursday, May 28, 2009

When it's time for gadgets to go

So how did you do on the electronics recycling test? Hopefully better than my 50%!

Electronic waste is growing at a rate of three times that of regular trash. And much of it is potentially toxic to our ground water and soil.

There are alternatives to tossing electronics, and some people are catching on. According to a post on Earth 911,

The U.S. EPA recently announced a 30 percent increase in electronics recycling through its Plug-In to eCycling program, with more than 66.5 million pounds of used electronics recycled in 2008.

That's great news for the earth, but we can do even better. Here are some electronics-specific ideas for recycling or reusing instead of trashing...

Televisions - TV's are one of the biggest items we throw away, and with the switch to digital TV, more and more of them are ending up curbside and in landfills. Is there a better option? Yes!

Most Office Depots will accept old televisions for recycling. Also, check with your local waste authority, as many cities and counties now offer large electronics recycling programs; a few even reward recyclers with coupons towards new TVs.

Cell phones - The average cell phone users buys a new phone every 14 months. That's a lot of phones going into the trash, many with toxic batteries still attached. But there is a better choice!

Women's shelters and senior centers in many cities will accept donations of used phones and program them to dial 911. These emergency phones have been credited with saving the lives of elderly people living alone, and women and children living in risky situations. Check with a local shelter, or contact Donate My Phone for a local drop off location.

Computers and computer monitors
- Staples office supply stores offer two programs to help you recycle your computers and peripherals. If your items are newer and can still be useful, they will offer you a coupon for credit towards a new item in their store. Older computers. monitors and the like will be accepted for recycling.

Advanced Technology Recycling offers computer and other technology users an opportunity to sell and buy computers and other used electronics online, which means less ends up in the trash.


Keith said...

Recycling electronics is getting easier all the time. For example, I work with a cellular provider called Consumer Cellular. It offers a free recycling program to anyone with a cellular phone ( All proceeds from phone recycling are given to the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Consumer Cellular will even pay for your postage to send in your old phone.

Seeker said...

Thanks for the info, Keith! I love the fact that the proceeds go to such a good cause too! Green and a good result. :-)