The Afterlife of Electronics

Do you ever wonder what happens to your old laptop or cell phone when you throw it out? After all, it won’t decompose in a landfill like your banana and orange peels. In fact, many electronics contain harmful chemicals and toxic metals that can pose a threat to public health if left to deteriorate in landfills. This is why it’s so important to ensure you’re handling your electronic waste properly and bringing it to a trusted facility.

What Happens

First, if you throw away your electronics, then they actually do end up in landfills! This can cause tons of problems as the chemicals used to make them fire-resistant leech into the soil and possibly the air. Most people know this, though, so they opt to recycle their technology in the hopes of it having a better “future.” The sad truth is that even recycled products can pose health risks because some companies will ship them to other countries where people have to deconstruct the device and be exposed to its harmful components.

What You Should Do

The most important step is to check if the recycler you choose to use is also interested in reuse. This can help significantly reduce the amount of material that is scrapped for waste or resale. Most companies who offer recycling of scrap electronic pieces can find ways to reuse the items and still make money for their business. Alternatively, if your computer crashed or phone died, but you don’t really want to buy a new one, you can always look into refurbishing your item through the retailer. This is another way to give an electronic device a new life.

Throwing away electronics can be harmful to the environment and to people, so try to find a reputable recycler who opts to reuse materials as a safe way to dispose of technological waste.