Britons accumulate 40 million unused electronic devices every year. Our consumerist society pushes us to buy the latest models of gadgets we already have. Many people are completely unaware of the harmful consequences of improperly disposing of their electronic waste. E-waste, as it’s more commonly known, contains dangerous chemicals, such as lead and mercury that can find their way into the soil, rivers and streams.
Avoid making E-waste a worse issue by following these simple tips.
Recycle your device with a certified E-waste recycler
Send your unwanted electronic devices to an E-waste recycler certified by the Basel Action Network (BAN) – a non-profit organisation of recycling companies. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that they’ll be disposed of in a way that doesn’t harm the planet. To pass the certification process, recyclers must show that they’ve followed all the national and international laws relevant to E-waste recycling. Compliance is ensured through third-party audits who certify the recycler’s practices.
To find your nearest BAN-certified recycler, head to ban.org/find-recyclers. Simply type in your country and city and you’ll find the closest e-waste recycler to your home. Send them your old electronic devices if you’re sure you have no further use for them because they cannot be repaired or upgraded.
Contact the manufacturer of your device
Most large manufacturers of electronic devices run their own recycling schemes, usually free of charge. Some even accept gadgets made by other manufacturers. Send them your E-waste and they will recycle it in an eco-friendly way.
The Apple Recycling Program is a great resource, even if your electronic device wasn’t manufactured by Apple. What’s more, if your old gadget has any monetary value, Apple will send you a gift card with the value of that amount. If you prefer to use recycling programs from other tech firms, check out their website for their conditions on recycling or trading your electronic devices.
Sell your electronic devices online
There may be many people willing to buy your old electronic devices at an attractive price. One of the quickest ways to shift your old gadgets for cash is by selling them online. Popular e-commerce sites include eBay and Gumtree where you can create a classified advert and list your unwanted devices. This even includes broken ones, if you use the correct listing for “spares and repairs”. However, you’ll also need to take care of the packaging and posting, as well as manage returns, missing items and refunds.
If you want to sell off your electronic devices without jumping through the hoops typically found in an e-commerce site, why not use a trade-in site such as Musicmagie. The process is simpler as you can send your electronic devices for free or arrange for a courier to pick them up from your home. They also send your payment over the next days after receiving your old electronics.
Donate your electronic devices to charity
There are non-profit programs and charities set up to facilitate the donation of fully functioning electronic devices. They will refurbish and donate unwanted gadgets to those who can’t afford to buy them at standard retail prices. This is a great way to give your old electronic devices a new lease of life while helping people in need.
FARA Shops is a London-based charity where you can donate your old appliances. The charity will first put your device through Portable Appliance Testing (or PAT) to ensure its safety before donating it. Get-Well Gamers is another association which will donate your video games and games consoles to UK hospitals.
Give your old devices a new lease of life
There are no good reasons for old electronics to end up in a landfill in this day and age. We can avoid this by disposing of them in a responsible and eco-friendly way. Certified E-waste recyclers and large tech companies will ensure your gadgets don’t harm the planet. Selling or donating your electronic devices will prolong their life cycle well after you’re done with them. Before you get the latest model of an electronic device you already have, think about what you’ll do with your old one. If getting rid of your device is the only option, now you know the most sustainable and environmentally friendly ways to dispose of it.