How Are Electronics Recycled?
As laptops, phones and televisions become more prominent, more and more electronics are wearing out. Since electronics are a little more complicated than a plastic wrapper or a banana peel, they should be disposed of properly, which has brought up the practice of e-recycling.
Advantages of Electronics Recycling
Instead of tossing your old, busted laptop into the garbage, you should recycle it to ensure that it’s been disposed of safely and properly. After all, there are toxic metals lingering in your old televisions, computers and various electronic buddies. Plus, just like recycling any other product, e-recycling helps cut back on the use of energy and the production of new materials. The process of e-recycling is mostly composed of dismantling the products and removing useful and hazardous materials. Some of these materials include:
- CRTs (Cathode Ray Tubes)
- Circuit boards
Recycling has always been thought of as smart and environmentally friendly, but how resourceful is it to recycle that old cell phone instead of throwing it away? If you throw away your electronics, it’s a sure bet that nothing can be reused from the product. But, if recycled, 99% of materials from electronics will be reused or sold. Useful metals like gold and copper are reused, as well as plastics that are the proper grade for electronics. Additional plastic or electronic pieces are sold to be used in other products, such as lighters.
Electronics Recylcing – Saving Big Money
Six-thousand cellphones produce approximately $15,000 in reusable metals. So if you throw away your old cellphone, you’re throwing away about $2.50 worth of recyclable metals. That’s two and a half burgers from the dollar menu, or six gumballs from the fancy gumball machine in the mall. What’s even better is that recycling metals from e-waste, like aluminum, uses only 10% of the energy used to mine new aluminum. So, when you recycle your old, tattered cellphone, you save money and a whole lot of energy.
Electronics also hold hazardous materials, like lead and mercury. Two percent of landfill waste is made up of electronics, but 70% of toxic waste is caused by the improper disposal of electronics. When e-recycled, hazardous materials are carefully extracted and disposed of properly to cut back on toxic waste. For example, computer glass is put into a furnace to remove the lead from the glass. Some toxic components are reused for other items, like the ever-important batteries that we use nearly every day.
What About Recycling Computers and Hazardous Materials
When your computer breaks down, or that old television finally gives out, it’s best to recycle them to promote safety and the unnecessary waste of useful bits and pieces. Be sure to track down the best possible recycling company in your area to ensure that a full 99% of your electronics are recycled while also disposing of hazardous materials properly. If your trusty computer fails on you, be sure to wipe the information off your hard drive, if possible. You can achieve this through programs, or you can simply destroy the hard drive with whatever tools you prefer, which may be that sludge hammer hiding in your shed.
Now, get out there and recycle that old printer or television. You’ll prevent hazardous materials from pooling in the landfills and you’ll be cutting back on waste. There couldn’t be a better fate for your perished electronics.