We love our computers and smartphones and gadgets. That is, until they stop working. Then these devices and their peripherals such as printers and monitors, not to mention the cases and batteries and cables and accessories, often become burdensome electronic garbage.
Gadgets aren't made to last, after all. No computer or phone maker is going to mind if you upgrade every year or two. In fact, they count on it. Consequently, all this junk ends up in the back of your closet or stored in your garage, collecting dust, because you aren't sure what to do with it.
The best thing to do is donate or recycle it. Contribute your old computers and phones to groups that will fix and clean them and put them back into circulation. Even the oldest computer—something you consider the most obsolete of digital dinosaurs—can probably be used by someone.
There are times, though, when a device is too far gone. There's nothing that can be done to bring it back to life again. Even a charity doesn't want unusable rubbish. That junk—called e-waste—is potentially dangerous. Electronics are filled with "heavy metals" (read: toxic metals) and carcinogenic chemicals that are fine when you're using them, but not so much when sitting in a landfill or, worse, when people recycle them incorrectly. Thousands of tons of e-waste are shipped overseas yearly to countries like China and India, where it gets dumped and maybe burned, which puts mercury and lead into the air.
So, here are the places you can take your old or even dead electronics, so they can either end up being used by someone in need or safely recycled.
This program is run by the Basel Action Network (BAN), a nonprofit dedicated to confronting environmental injustice caused by toxic chemicals worldwide. It created e-Stewards Certification to address what it says the government does not: "prevent the toxic materials in electronics from continuing to cause long term harm to human health and the environment."
BAN and e-Stewards Recyclers even called on the US to halt all exports of e-waste generated by the federal government after a July 2015 UN report found the US makes more e-waste than anyone—a million tons a year more than China, 80 percent of which goes to Asia. It's unconscionable.
Check out the list of e-Stewards Recyclers on the site. By using one, you can be reassured that you are taking your digital detritus to someone you can trust to recycle it in the safest way possible.Read More...
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