According to a report by the Consumer Electronics Association, Americans own at least 24 devices per household. That means a lot of outdated technology collecting dust in our homes in a short while. While it may seem pretty straightforward, it’s essential to know how to dispose of electronics when they break or become outdated properly.
The following tips will help ensure that your electronics are properly disposed of and the benefits of proper electronic disposal.
What to do before disposing of personal electronics
Planning on throwing your computer in the trash? The first thing you want to do before you throw away any computers, hard drives, flash drives, or cell phones is to remove all of your personal information from the device.
The last thing you want is a list of your contacts or photographs in the hands of a stranger. To protect your data on a computer, visit this link and follow the recommended steps for wiping your hard drive.
If you’re throwing away, recycling, or donating an old cell phone, never do any of the above without doing these 6 things. Also, be sure to recycle any batteries that come with your electronic devices. They are terrible for the environment because of their contents. Avoid sending them to landfills if possible.
Options for bulk disposal of electronics
Most states are now on the same page regarding how to dispose of electronics. Because e-waste is progressively becoming a bigger issue when it comes to taking up space in landfills there are different programs and regulations that vary as you span across the country.
In Texas, there are no laws that mandate how a resident must dispose of e-waste as long as it is in small amounts. You can place your electronics and appliances in the trash (but you shouldn’t).
For businesses, there ARE laws in place that now mandate electronics manufacturers to take back used equipment for recycling. In fact, in 2012, Texas accounted for more than 8% of Best Buys recycling program which totaled, more than 24 million pounds of computer equipment.
With those types of numbers coming from businesses and manufacturers you can see how quickly things can spiral out of control in our landfills. So here are the best options for the bulk disposal of electronics:
1. Rent a dumpster
A roll-off dumpster is an ideal method for bulk electronic disposal. You can safely pile up your electronics in a dumpster and not have to worry about them once it’s gone. You can choose the container size that best suits your needs. Simply send us a “request a quote” form and we’ll let you know how much you’ll pay. Your dumpster delivery will be at your door when you need it.
2. Throw them out with your curbside trash (not recommended)
Although it’s not recommended, it is legal in Texas to throw out your old electronics in your regular trash can if it’s in small amounts. We live in a time where diversion is a growing concern (diverting as much trash away from landfills). Keep Texas Beautiful and consider the next option as one of the best in how to dispose of electronics in the DFW Metroplex.
3. Recycle Your Electronics In Dallas-Fort Worth
With the advent of technology, more and more electronics are being created daily. Many of these electronics end up in landfills, where they can cause serious environmental problems. If you want to dispose of your electronics properly in the DFW area, there are a few options available to you.
Recycling center: The first option is to take your electronics to a certified recycling center. Certified recycling centers will ensure that your electronics are properly recycled and will not end up in a landfill.
Donation centers: Another option is to donate your electronics to a local donation center. Donation centers will either refurbish the electronics or recycle them properly.
Examples of electronics accepted in these centers include:
- Gaming systems
- MP3 players
- Wireless phones
- Fax Machines
- Digital cameras and camcorders
- And other electronic gadgets
The best way to recycle your old electronics is to find a local recycling program. Many cities and towns have designated drop-off locations for electronic waste. You can also check with your local Solid Waste Department to find out where to recycle electronics in your area.
In Fort Worth, you can recycle your electronics at any of the following locations, check here.
In Dallas, you can recycle your electronics at any of the following locations listed, check here.
There are now plenty of private companies that will take your electronics for recycling. Click here to see the first page of results on Google.
What is Electronic Recycling?
Electronic recycling is reusing or recycling used electronics and electrical equipment. In order to ensure that your electronics are properly recycled, it’s crucial to find a certified e-Recycling facility. Certified e-Recycling facilities are responsible for the proper handling and disposal of electronic waste. E-waste is any waste that contains electronic components or circuits.
Benefits of recycling your electronics
Electronic products such as computers, TVs, VCRs, stereos, copiers, and fax machines can pollute the environment if not disposed of properly. Many of these products contain lead, mercury, and other toxic chemicals that can contaminate the air, water, and soil.
When recycled, these same products can be used to make new products, saving valuable resources and preventing pollution. Some benefits of recycling your electronics are:
- Conserves natural resources: Recycling conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals.
- Saves energy: Recycling reduces the need to extract, refine and process raw materials, all of which require substantial energy.
- Reduces pollution: Recycling helps to reduce the pollution caused by waste disposal.
- Generates employment: Recycling creates jobs in collecting, sorting, and processing recyclables.
- Saves resources by extracting fewer raw materials from the Earth.
Precautions to take before recycling or donating your electronics
Before you donate or recycle your electronic devices, it’s essential to take the proper precautions to protect your personal information.
- Remove all personal data: This includes everything from financial information to passwords and login information.
- Factory reset your device: A factory reset will erase all data from your device and restore it to its original settings.
- If possible, upgrade your computer instead of replacing it: Upgrading your computer is a more sustainable option than buying a new one. It’s also more cost-effective and can prolong the life of your device.
- Take out the batteries from the gadgets before disposing of them: Batteries can be recycled, but they should not be disposed of with your electronic devices. They are also can be recycled at most electronic waste facilities.
- Physically destroy your hard drive: If you want to be extra cautious, you can physically destroy your hard drive by drilling holes through it. This will ensure that no one will be able to access your personal data.
The bottom line for e-waste disposal
With the ever-increasing use of electronic devices, it’s essential to make sure that you recycle your old electronics properly. Certified recycling facilities will ensure that your electronic waste is disposed of in the most environmentally friendly way possible. You can also check with your local trash service to find out the best places for electronic recycling.