A Green Guide for Recycling Your Holiday Gadgets
With last minute holiday shoppers abound, right now is the busiest time of year to be purchasing new electronic devices and gadgets. According to the Consumer Electronic Association’s annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, this year’s electronic holiday gift giving will reach an all time high; accounting for over one third of all holiday purchases. Computers are at the top of nearly every wish list throughout the country.
Sadly, most consumers do not have a plan to recycle or even dispose of old gadgets. This is the perfect time to recycle unwanted technology. If you do not recycle, it upon bringing that lovely new laptop or the ultra-chic iPod home chances are the old and unused gadgets will continue to clutter your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2009 alone over 5 million short tons of unwanted, unused recyclable technology waste was being held in storage throughout the country. Worse yet, in a cleaning frenzy, these older products may end up in a landfill rather than a recycling center simply out of desperation to de-clutter your home. By simply taking the time to correctly dispose of your old computer when you get a new one will reduce disorder in your home, help the earth and if you recycle through the Dell Reconnect program, create jobs and profit your local community. As an added bonus, if you chose to recycle your gadgets before the year’s end, that too can be a valuable tax write off!
Before recycling old computers, laptops, or tablets be sure to save all files and then wipe the hard drive of all personal data before donating/recycling it. After that, all you need to do is simply find a recycling center near you. Generally, the retailer that you bought the device from will take it back free of charge. You may also want to consider the program Reconnect, I mentioned earlier. Dell and Goodwill have created a partnership to better serve communities nationwide. All you need to do is find a Goodwill near you to drop off your device, even if it is not a Dell. Goodwill and Dell handles the rest. All proceeds from this go towards assisting those in local communities and Goodwill’s main priority of helping with job creation. In addition, this also cuts down on waste, pollution and environmental degradation, which is the priority of every eco-family. When dealing with Apple products, it is always advised to return them back to Apple. You can either ship them directly or return at your local retailer. While you are taking care of those unwanted devices don’t forget to include any accessories such as keyboards, speakers, mouse pads or ear buds to name just a few. All of these accessories can also be returned to the manufacturer, donated via Reconnect or if Goodwill isn’t near you, nearly any other thrift store can and will accept such accessories.
Computers and other technological devices are made of many, many different materials; some of which are very harmful to both our environment as well as humans directly. It is crucial to encourage and maintain recycling of techie-waste. As you can see, recycling it is simple and requires only a minimal amount of planning and virtually no work. However, such technological waste continues to be our country’s fastest growing section of waste in landfills nationwide. Consider not only doing your part, but also perhaps informing others so they too make more eco-friendly choices.