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How to Correctly Throw Away Unwanted Electronics

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It is inevitable that you are going to want to update your electronic devices as new and better devices come out, but what many people ask themselves is what to do with your old devices once you have updated? Lots of people think it’s suitable to just toss their unwanted devices in the bin. Consumer e-waste totalled 44.7 million tons in 2016 and only 20 percent of that waste was disposed of correctly.

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Recycling electronics conserves natural resources as they electronic items are often made from metal, glass and plastic. Expensive resources that require a certain type of energy to manufacture. If you are wondering how to correctly throw away your unwanted electronic items, read our top tips below.

Delete all information

Before you throw anything away, it is absolutely imperative that you delete all of your files including photos, presentations and all sensitive information that you are not going to want other people to see. Cleanse the hard-drive so no one can retrieve the information stored on the device. This doesn’t mean that every electronic item that has ever been thrown away has been somehow hacked in to, but just like you shouldn’t throw away full receipts in the bin, you shouldn’t throw away un-cleansed electronic items.

Remove the batteries

Batteries can be either primary or secondary batteries. The majority of batteries can contain harmful heavy metals such as lead, copper, mercury, zinc and many more. All of these elements are extremely hazardous to both the environment and human health, and are able to permeate into the ground soil and thus water supplies when they are placed into landfill. For this reason, placing them in your household bin to dispose of them is not a safe option, as their harmful chemical content will ultimately make its way back into our water supplies.

Contact your waste management service

It is worthwhile to get in touch with your local waste management service as they will be able to give you all of the information you need about safely and environmentally correctly getting rid of all of your electronic items. They may often collect and recycle electronics for you.

Find an e-Steward recycler

A responsible e-Steward recycler follows high standards and will reuse and/or refurbish your electronics rather than ship them to a developing country or otherwise properly dispose of them.

Return the electronics to the manufacturer

Apple, Dell, HP, Samsung, and other manufacturers accept and recycle your unwanted electronics for free or a small fee. Sometimes, you can even receive store credit for participating in a takeback program.

Donate your fully functional electronics to a charity or other organization

The World Computer Exchange or National Cristina Foundation are two options. You can also ask your local homeless shelter, youth club or retirement centre if they can use your electronics in their program. Before you toss an unwanted electronic device into the trash, consider these important steps. With them, you manage your company wisely, protect the environment and give your devices new life.

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