Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Greener Living: 4 Important Reasons You Should Be Recycling Your Electronics

Do you already recycle your paper products, plastics, metals, and glass? Great! Are you also looking for a way to step up your recycling game? Consider recycling your unneeded, outdated, and defunct electronics.

Recycling electronics is better than throwing them into the garbage for many reasons, including the five reasons listed below.

  1. Hazardous Chemicals

Electronics contain toxic chemicals that harm the environment, including lead, chromium, mercury, beryllium, and magnesium. When electronics are tossed into landfills, these chemicals leak into the ground, contaminating the soil. This, in turn, damages the local wildlife and seeps into crop fields and water sources used by humans. So, to protect nature – and your health – make sure to responsibly recycle your electronics.

  1. Valuable Materials

Did you know that when you throw away your electronics, you might also be throwing away literal gold? Electronics contain many precious metals that can be extracted and reused through e-waste recycling. Phones, televisions, and computers are rife with gold, silver, and palladium. Meanwhile, large appliances, such as dishwashers, microwaves, and washing machines, usually contain valuable copper pipes.

  1. Third-World Exploitation

Most electronic waste ends up being illegally dumped in the poorest regions of developing countries. This poses a threat for multiple reasons.

First, as stated before, when electronics are tossed into international landfills, the toxic chemicals within them may harm nearby food and water sources, leading to spikes of illness in the local population.

Second, uncertified recycling plants often use dangerous methods of metal extraction. For example, some plants require their workers to melt plastics over open flames to expose the precious metals within. This process releases deadly fumes into the air. People exposed to these fumes have an increased risk of cancer, immune and respiratory issues, and organ damage.

Third, many of the laborers in uncertified recycling plants are children. Child labor is unacceptable in any situation, of course, but due to the dangerous nature of improper electronics recycling, these children often end up with irreversible health problems as they grow up.

  1. Information Theft

Deleting files from your computer or cell phone doesn’t always mean that the data is completely gone. If you merely toss your old and broken electronics into the trash, computer-savvy thieves can take them and hack into your sensitive information. To keep yourself safe, the better option is to recycle your electronics through a professional service.

To sum, electronics recycling is a good thing – when done properly. It can benefit you, the planet, the economy, and people across the world. Next time you have an old device or appliance that you no longer need, skip the trash can and recycle it.