Have you every wondered what happens to your old computer? Besides collecting dust in your basement, old computers like paper or glass can be recycled. There are numerous companies that will accept computers as well as other gadgets for recycling, so it’s best to do your research before hauling your dead electronic equipment out to the curb.
Computers are just one of many materials that fall under the category of electronic waste (e-waste). As technology advances and grows on a daily basis, the number of e-waste materials flourishes with it. Companies who update their computer systems every few years may not dispose of these materials properly, thus escalating the problem. Just think about how many new cell phones came out in 2010 already, and there are more on their way.
When e-waste materials are not disposed of properly, they can be a major source of carcinogens and toxins, but they can be a valuable source of secondary raw materials. It’s better to reuse and recycle the equipment so they don’t sit in a landfill like a ticking time bomb that could eventually lead to land, water and air contamination.
Major computer manufacturers like Apple, Dell and Hewlett-Packard all accept old computers that have become obsolete. Even if you have empty printer cartridges, don’t forget that you can usually send these back to the printer company for recycling too. To be sure you can drop off your unwanted electronics, check the manufacturer’s website and call customer service.
Even if you’re having difficulty recycling the electronics with the manufacturer, you can always reuse the parts. With computers and motherboards, there are so many shiny and metallic parts that you can incorporate the pieces into your home décor and create unique favors for parties. Technically savvy individuals out there can use the working parts to fix broken electronics, which might be a more efficient option.
So don’t forget to recycle your old computer and even your cell phone, ink cartridges, etc. before buying new. Wanting the next greatest device is a part of our consumer driven society, but remember, purchasing more only leads to more waste.