How To Properly Dispose of Your Electronic Waste (eWaste)

In the 21st century, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't own at least a little bit of technology. From the older couple using their laptop to see the latest pictures of their grandchildren, to kids who keep track of nearly every moment on social media. We all love our devices that share so much of our days. But with the advance of technology creating newer, smaller, and faster gadgets for us to drool over every year, there are those of us who regularly update our technological devices on a constant basis in an attempt to stay at the razor's edge of innovation.

And then you have those people who are more loyal to their technological devices, but that errant drop from their fumbling fingers left their smartphone screen a mess of spiderweb cracks. Or maybe one day you tried turning on your desktop, laptop, or printer, but the device didn't seem to get the message and all the attempts in the world won't get it to work. Even in the age of warrantees and guarantees, you can still end up with unusable technology, or eWaste. And while it's sad, you're probably not going to be saving that broken monitor screen for sentimental reasons. Chances are you'll need the space for your even nicer computer monitor to sit.

But the question becomes what to do with your old, broken technology? While normally our electronics are safe for us to use in a normal setting, they do contain harmful chemicals like cadmium, mercury, lead, and others that are absolutely terrible for the environment. In fact, it's such a source of contaminants that many states have made dumping electronics illegal. While some might be tempted to risk tossing old tech, there's plenty of safer, cleaner, and greener alternatives for giving your devices a proper send off.

Drop it like it's broke

We're hoping that the device that doesn't work anymore wasn't your only connection to the Internet, as you'll find surfing the web quite useful in locating a place where you can drop off your old technology. Ironically, some of the best places to take your old tech are the places you might have gotten it from in the first place. You can always give your local electronics store a call, or visit their website for their policies on taking eWaste. In most cases, it's free to simply bring in your old devices to an electronics store, hand over your devices to be recycled, and then either leave or perhaps go shopping for a new replacement, you know, since you're already there. Hmmm, maybe that's why electronic stores offer free recycling!

Drive to a drive

Another great alternative for those with more than a small amount of technology to recycle is to visit an eWaste drive. At these events staged around the collection of old and broken technology, you can briefly stop by and recycle. While many drives are only for accepting your eWaste, a few drives do have additional incentives like raffles or gifts for amount of eWaste donated.

A quick pick me up

If you're in a situation where you can't easily make it to a location or eWaste drive to dispose of your eWaste, there are many companies that will drive to your location and pick up your items free of charge. It's just part of their duty to the environment to make sure those items don’t end up in a landfill. Search for free eWaste pickup online in your area, and you're sure to find the recycling help you need.

No matter which method you choose, you'll be doing the right thing by the environment by keeping dangerous materials out of landfills where they could potentially seep into groundwater supplies. Don't let something that brought you so much happiness put the earth in such a sad state. Show responsible technology ownership by properly disposing of your eWaste devices and peripherals. If it has a battery or a cord, chances are there's someone out there more than willing to take it off your hands. Just find a participating store, eWaste drive, or company to pick it up. Then feel free to fill that empty technological spot with some new shiny tech!