Electronic waste (e-waste) is an increasing problem. It’s easy to throw away old cell phones and monitors when you upgrade or when they stop working but it’s terrible for the environment and not always legal. In fact, your trash and recycling services in College Station won’t be able to take them away for you. They’re hazardous waste. How can you get them out of your house in a green and legal way? Here are some ideas.
One piece of old tech you might want to keep is a game console. Before you decide to get rid of an old game console you should ask yourself if you’ll be nostalgic for this slightly outdated hardware in a couple years. Games and game consoles last a long time and while you may have gotten upgrades, the originals can still be fun. People are still playing Pong.
There are also ways to reuse old computers for their parts. Repurposing and reusing old technology is better than trying to send it to the College Station landfill where it can’t be accepted.
Trade Them In
Before you upgrade anything, see if there’s a trade-in deal. Some stores will take old technology as a trade in for a discount on something new. Best Buy has a trade-in program that you can look at online so you can get an idea of how much you’ll get for your old stuff.
Donate and Sell
If your electronics are in any sort of working order, then selling them or donating them is a perfect option. Donating is faster because some charities will come to your door to pick things up, but selling can offset the cost of your upgrade.
Items that are not in good working order may still be worth selling. There is a market for some old technology that might have useful parts.
What If It is Broken?
The State of Texas has you covered on this one if it’s a computer. If you go to the website for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, you can find a page that will help you to get the manufacturer of your computer to take it back. It’s the Texas Recycles Computers Program.
Otherwise, there are hazardous waste collection events like the one coming up April 29th, 2017 from 7am-2pm at the University Services Building near Veteran’s Park in College Station.
Whatever you decide to do with your old devices, remember to delete all your personal data from them before you hand them over.
Is It Worth the Effort?
There are responsible ways to handle e-waste so that it doesn’t end up in landfills. Once it’s in a landfill the metals can become very toxic to the environment. Also, some metals in electronics are very rare. By sending them to be recycled you’re preserving a non-renewable resource.
While recycling computers is more complicated than recycling an aluminum can, it is worth the effort. There is a savings in resources and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as a result. Reusing, donating, or recycling e-waste is the green option.