Today is the day to give old electronic devices a new life. Open a door of any cupboard or drawer in your house. There is a big chance that you will find an old smartphone, an old laptop or an old tablet. As soon as we get a new one, we put the old one away. If it is salable, we will receive a nice amount in return. However, in many cases, old electronics end up in a drawer. This way a whole collection is created over the years. But have you ever thought about recycling electronics?
Why is recycling important?
Studies show that in our country about one in three desktops and about one million laptops are just laying around, unused. Add to that more than 3 million unused mobile phones and the mountain of waste is huge. Sometimes it concerns broken devices. But often these are devices that are outdated. Technically, they no longer meet the current standard. They are laptops, tablets or telephones that are no longer fast enough. Or they can no longer handle the latest applications. Appearance also plays a role, in some cases. As long as an electronically device is not broken, you can give it a second life. That is recycling.
How can you recycle electrical devices?
The most obvious thing to do is to sell electrical devices. There are many websites for this, such as eBay. Sometimes it costs a small amount to sell electrical devices on eBay. But nowadays, social media is also very suitable to sell stuff you don’t use. Facebook has even launched a sales site. It is called Marketplace. This site is integrated into the current Facebook website and is therefore easy to use. You don’t sell electronic devices only to earn some money with it. It is primarily a way to promote sustainability.
You don’t want to sell your old devices?
Do you not feel like negotiating, don’t you want strange people at your door or do you simply not feel like sending sold devices by mail? Then there are also stores that collect second-hand electronic devices. In return you will receive a voucher or a discount on a new device. On the website of this type of stores, you can indicate which device you want to trade. You will immediately see the value of your device. This way, stores give cell phones, computers and laptops a second life. But also online, there are more and more stores that offer this service.
Recycling old computers
Recycling old computers is done by using the parts from old computers. In this way, they can repair broken desktops. Often it is only a single part that needs to be replaced. So it is very good for the environment not to buy new parts, but to use second-hand parts to replace broken or not functioning parts. There are companies that purchase these repaired computers. They see a trade in this by reselling old desktops and laptops. And people with a small pocket will be very happy with it.
Would you rather do a good deed?
Recycling means also giving away well-functioning second-hand equipment. There are organizations that recycle the devices or prepare the devices for reuse. These are often desktops on which the newest games can no longer be played. You can also hand in monitors, printers and other electronic accessories.
Use the container park
Are selling and giving away no longer an option? Then choose to return your old electrical device. The container parks ensure a responsible disposal of your electronic device. Note that it usually concerns smaller devices.
Take a look across the border
Sustainability is an important theme worldwide. For example, initiatives are being set up outside national borders that focus on the recycling of electrical devices. The devices are collected for reuse in developing countries. The transport and the recycling costs are paid by the organization. The only condition is that a minimum of devices must be returned. This does not only concern desktops, tablets or smartphones. Accessories are also more than welcome.
Using, returning, recycling and re-production
If you return an old device to a recycle collection point, this won’t be its last stop. A new process begins. Old electrical appliances and old devices will be recycled into new raw materials. In addition, old lamps are perfects for recycling. These raw materials form the basis for new products. A new circle of production is born: using, returning, recycling and re-production. Handing in is therefore getting back. Overproduction will decrease and nature can recover more. Therefore, the environment will be grateful for a recycle circle like this.
Go for refurbished
Ever heard of refurbished electronics? That’s electronics that are collected, checked and tested and then re-used. Sometimes, the quality of these electronics might be less, so always research your electronics provider well on this.
But if you do find a good supplier, you can save a lot AND help the environment. The Dutch company Aliter Networks is a refurbished network equipment supplier and delivers products like switches and routers from Cisco, Juniper, Extreme, etc. for a fraction of the new price. And they test it thoroughly before shipping.
Some final tips
- Before you sell, give away or donate an old computer. Always ensure that the hard disk is completely erased. After all, you prefer to keep your private data private. Remember that just formatting the hard disk is not enough to erase everything. Do you really want to be sure of a completely clean hard disk? Then go to a professional or get started with software such as Data Shredder or KillDisk. This software will be installed on your USB stick. When you start up your computer, the software will start doing its work. It erases the hard disk from here, so for sure you do not give away any private information at all.
- An old cellphone contains ores and metals that are great for recycling. Approximately 300 grams of gold can be obtained from a ton of old cell phones. In addition, also more than 20 grams of aluminum, 15 grams of copper and 5 grams of cobalt. The cobalt comes from the battery. Old telephones also contain other special ores. Think of indium, gallium, cerium, lanthanum, palladium and tungsten. They are exotic sounding ores. However, the fact is that recycling these ores is a lot better for the environment than extracting these ores from the mines over and over again.
Therefore, hopefully you have enough ideas about what to do with your old electric devices. Now you also know, that cleaning up your old devices in fact contributes to a cleaner and healthier environment.