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In a world driven by technology, new electronic devices are constantly being improved and thanks to innovation, the cost of replacing a computer, TV or even a mobile phone is at an all-time low. With the urge to get better technology, a new problem has been created with the increasing amount of End of Life (EOL) electronics.

There is a heap of problems associated with throwing away old and dead electronics. Just in case you are wondering why should you recycle electronics, here are the consequences of disposing of electronic waste incorrectly:

  • Landfill – by disposing of electronics, you use up space that should be used for non-recyclable materials. There are a lot of materials that can be re-used in dead electronics and recycling allows it to be extracted reducing the landfill impact.
  • Groundwater pollution – electronics contain hazardous chemicals. If disposed of inappropriately, these chemicals leach through the soil and work their way down to the water table polluting the water.
  • Data – the danger that old electronics pose is not only to the environment and the economy but also to you. Disposing laptops and mobile phones incorrectly can compromise the safety of any data stored in them which could easily get into the wrong hands. Before disposing of, you should make sure that all data storage devices have been carefully disposed of and any data erased beforehand.

Why is electronic recycling important?

With a struggling planet, recycling has been the most practical way of making better use of resources while placing less strain on the environment. The same should be applied when it comes to electronics. Why should you recycle electronics? Here are some benefits.

  • Source of raw materials – Electronics contain precious metals that are up to 50 times richer than the ores which are mined from the earth. Unfortunately, only about 15% of metals like gold in e-waste are recovered. Recycling can allow for more of these resources to be recovered and reduce dependence on mining.
  • Solid waste management – the short life cycle of electronics and the continuous upgrade has resulted in a big landfill problem. Through recycling, solid waste can be better managed by ensuring all recyclable parts are recycled.
  • Proper processing of toxic materials – electronics contain hazardous materials like mercury, chromium and cadmium among others. While most of these cannot be recycled, they can be better disposed of preventing their release into the environment.

How can you recycle old electronics?

Knowing why should you recycle electronic equipment is not enough. It is equally essential to know some of the recycling options that you have for the different equipment that you might want to dispose of.

  • Donation – the easiest and perhaps most effective way of recycling electronics like computers is to donate them for further use by other institutions. This option is most feasible if the equipment is still functional.
  • Electronic recycler locations – if the electronics are dead or you cannot donate them, the next alternative is to take them to a recycler Ideally, these are drop off points where you can take the equipment and they will be disposed of correctly. Recyclable materials will be extracted from the electronics and what cannot be used will be discarded the right way. At SPIC AND SPAN. Home & Office Cleaning in Berlin our recycling centers of choice are Recyclinghöfe located throughout the city (for more information click here).
  • Electronic recycling events – in a bid to increase awareness and improve the amount of electronic recycling, there are various recycling events that are held in different areas. If one happens to be near you, you can drop off your old electronic equipment and they will take care of the rest.
  • Corporate take back programs – some companies are jumping on the wagon to help save the environment. One way they are doing this is by providing electronic users with a platform where they can unload their used electronics. The companies can then refurbish the equipment and donate or they can pull all the recyclable material and destroy the rest safely.

In case you are not sure of how to recycle your type of electronic, there are hotline numbers that have been established where you can call to get advice on recycling and disposing of electronics. These contact centers are particularly helpful to users who want to replace their mobile phones or computers.

Electronic recycling is key in improving the state of the environment and could actually make you some money if you decide to resell your old stuff instead of throwing it away. For damaged equipment, you can go through the different recycling options listed above and choose the one that works best for you.

For more tips and ways of recycling old electronics, get in touch with SPIC AND SPAN. experts using this form. Our team of experts is always available to assist you in promoting environmental wellness through recycling. Within our Move-in / Move-out Cleaning offer (Umzüge Reinigung) it is possible to arrange an environmentally-friendly disposal of old electronic devices.

Alphan Maina

Acknowledgments:
  • Featured picture – for source click here
  • Picture 1 – for source click here
  • Picture 2 – for source click here
  • Picture 3 – for source click here

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