Here are some great tips on how to recycle your old electronics. You must start doing this because electronic waste is dangerous to the environment in too many ways and can easily be recycled. Most companies show responsible stewardship in creating their own recycling programs. There are a few independent companies who will pay a stipend and pay the shipping for the delivery of your used, old or broken electronics. These companies recycle the electronics by either fixing them and reselling them as refurbished, by donating them to charities here and overseas, by donating them to schools for reuse or by breaking down the units for parts that are then used in the repair or refurbishment of other electronics. Either way, if you take advantage of these programs, you will keep the junk out of the landfill and do something good for the less fortunate, as well.
Here are some facts about electronics in America: During the holidays, every year, people clean out their old gear in favor of the new shiny toys and appliances they have just received, or purchased at after Christmas discount sales. With the upcoming 2009 change in TV transmissions from analog to digital, a mountain of e-waste will be created and not limited to the thousands of analog sets that people will simply dump. And consider as well that the average cell phone user changes handsets every 18 months, putting the old phone into a dumpster or trash can along the way.
Recycling is a necessity, considering that 20 to 50 million tons of electronics waste (often called e-waste) is discarded globally every year, according to Greenpeace. E-waste is the fastest growing component of and currently makes up five percent of all municipal solid waste. Until recently, no one thought of recycling computers and other electronics. The only option was tossing them on the curb. But these days Engineers have taken notice that electronics contain a wealth of valuable materials. Plus, recycling almost always means lower net carbon emissions and a lot less lead, cadmium, brominated fire retardants and plastics ending up in the ecosystem where they can leach toxic breakdown products that end up in our water supply.
The Consumer Electronics Association, which represents electronics manufacturers, encourages people to recycle their e-waste, and has set up a handy Website to make the process simple. Log on to My Green Electronics , where you can search for local recycling drop-off points by zip code and product category. You’ll also find tips and info on electronics recycling, and a cool energy calculator that will show you how much juice each product uses.
How to Recycle Items by Brand or Manufacturer:
Apple/Mac Recycling Program:
Apple offers a free U.S. recycling program for old computers and monitors – with the purchase of a new Mac. There is also a free iPod recycling program conducted through Apple’s retail stores (earn a 10% discount).
Additionally Apple has instituted a trade-in program for educational and business customers in the United States.
In 2006, Apple recycled 13 million pounds of e-waste, the equivalent of 9.5 percent of the weight of all products sold seven years earlier. The company says it expects this percentage to grow to 13 percent in 2007, and to 20 percent in 2008. By 2010, it predicts it will be recycling 19 million pounds of e-waste per year – nearly 30 percent of the product weight sold seven years earlier.
Dell Computer Recycling Program:
Dell recently announced its goal of becoming the first major computer company to go carbon neutral and at the same time implemented systems to both recycle and reuse old computers.
Through the company’s partnership with the National Cristina Foundation, any consumer or business can donate working, used computer systems to charity in exchange for a possible tax deduction. The foundation then places the donated technology with local nonprofits and public agencies that service disabled and economically disadvantaged children and adults. Dell and NCF provide this work in Brazil, Canada, France, Ireland, the United States and the United Kingdom.
The company also offers its customers free recycling of any Dell-branded computer equipment at any time. With purchase of a new Dell computer or printer, consumers can also take advantage of free recycling of other brands of used computer equipment. The recycling is managed by Dell’s selected partners, who are required to adhere to Dell’s high environmental standards.
Learn more about recycling Dell products.
Sony Electronics Recycling Program:
Sony will take back your old notebook or PC for credit. You can use this program by going to SonyStyle.com or at any Sony Style retail outlet. Simply take your old Sony Notebook Computer to any SonyStyle outlet or mail it in to Sony.
Sony products can also be taken to any Waste Management Facility in the US. Just drop it off there and they will be recycled for free.
Sony says the ultimate plan is to have a recycling center within 20 miles of most U.S. residents. To learn more, and locate a site near you, here.
Hewlett Packard Recycling Program:
Hewlett Packard is a leader in the green movement. The company has been recycling old computer products for over 15 years now. Currently, HP customers have several options to make sure their old e-waste doesn’t end up polluting the planet.
HP has a trade in program that offers fair market value for aging technology and an upgrade to new HP technology. Every product category is covered, HP and even non-HP products.
Companies can earn money for aging qualified computer equipment that is turned in. That in turn will be wiped clean of data, refurbished and resold.
HP will also take back used printer cartridges for recycling for no cost to the consumer. Many cartridges currently sold come with pre-paid return labels to simply the process. Or you can just go the HP website and print out pre-paid return labels online. Rechargeable batteries can also be recycled for free at various locations; go to the HP website to locate one near you.
HP will also recycle any brand of computer hardware. You can register on the website and get set up to do this. The cost is minimal, ranging from $13 to $34 per item, depending.
HP also facilitates donations of older equipment to the less fortunate, through the National Cristina Foundation.
Learn more about HP’s recycling program.
Gateway Computers Recycling Program:
Gateway has a trade-in program in which customers get Gateway credit if they recycle their old PCs.They also have an innovative program in which recent Gateway customers can get cash for sending in preowned, working technology products. The initiative is managed by DealTree.
Gateway also has a program in which people can ship in e-waste for proper recycling. The fee for this service depends upon the weight of the item.
Learn more about Gateway’s recycling program.
Best Buy Electronics Recycling Program:
Best Buy is making progress in their recycling efforts, recycling more than 20 million lbs of electronics in 2006. They are pioneers in new ways of recycling products, including drop-off kiosks that can be found inside the front door of every Best Buy in America. Customers can drop off old cell phones, rechargeable batteries and ink-jet cartridges at no cost.
Best Buy also has an appliance recycling program. They will come out and remove old appliances from your home and send them to recyclers. Harmful materials will be separated and disposed of, such as CFCs, usable parts will be salvaged, and other materials will be recycled for scrap.
Also, every cell phone customer will receive free, postage-paid envelopes to mail old phones to ReCellular. In turn, ReCellular donates dollars from its recycling program to Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
In addition, Best Buy is known for hosting recycling events at its store parking lots, during which people can come drop off a wide range of items for recycling.
Learn more about Best Buy’s recycling program.