How To Dispose Of Electronic Waste

When electronics become obsolete, and you have decided to upgrade to newer technology, there is a right and a wrong way to dispose of them. By contacting a local waste disposal company, you can find out exactly what to do with any electronics you no longer want in your home, but to get you started, here are some tips that you might find useful.

Items that Can Be Recycled

  • Display items like monitors and TV screens
  • Desktop computers
  • Laptop computers and tablets
  • Computer accessories like mice and keyboards
  • Printers and copiers
  • Telephones and answering machines
  • Cell phones and pagers
  • Speakers and home theatre equipment
  • Camcorders, DVD players and other video devices

Most cities have drop-off depots for used electronics. A local waste disposal company or city hall can provide you with the rules regarding electronic waste for your municipality. For those living in condo or apartment complexes, an electronic waste disposal station is usually located in an easily accessible location in the building. Talk to your superintendent for information.

Do I Have to Utilize Drop-Off Centres?

Some jurisdictions require that electronics be dropped-off at disposal sites, and others do not. However, by reducing the amount of waste you create, you help the environment, and you may end up paying a smaller fee for solid waste use. Cities aim to keep at least 70 per cent of electronics out of landfill areas, and instead aim for these items to be recycled. And using drop-off centres won’t cost you anything.

The Three Rs

The three Rs—reduce, reuse and recycle—come into play when dealing with unwanted electronics as well as other household waste. Do you really need that new electronic gadget? Perhaps hanging on to the old one a while longer would make more sense. If you do, someone else may have use for the one you’re replacing. Perhaps a local school could make use of your old computer equipment. Do anything you can do to keep things useful for as long as possible. Chances are, too, that certain parts may be used to repair other units. Try to recycle those components.

Where Do Dropped-Off Items Go?

Electronics that cities collect are eventually packaged at processing facilities that have been government approved. Some electronic waste includes hazardous material like lead, mercury, beryllium and flame retardant materials. These are recycled safely so as not to contaminate soil, air or water. Waste disposal companies also send electronic waste to processing facilities to be safely processed and disposed of, so either choice will ensure your unwanted electronics meet a responsible end.

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