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How to Recycle Old Computers and Electronics

Got your big old fat and heavy computer monitor sitting around collecting dust now that you've replaced it with your awesome new 25" flatscreen monitor to help you write your term papers? Maybe Mom and Dad gave you their old 486 computer when they shipped you off to college and now you just use it as part of your home-made bricks and plywood shelving unit?

Getting rid of old electronic devices can seem like a hassle if you don’t know how to go about getting rid of them. Luckily you aren’t alone in trying to get rid of your old electronic devices and equipment, not to mention batteries and bulbs.

Because of the way electronic devices so rapidly become obsolete, you have a variety of options. Old television sets leak toxic materials when they are broken down in a landfill, so you can’t just toss them in the garbage. Some charities won’t accept old TV’s because they cost more to repair than they can be sold for, so before you dump it behind a thrift store, make sure that they will accept your donation. Also, check out stores that sell electronics because they sometimes offer recycling or trade-in programs.

Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a list of retailers and manufacturers that offer electronics recycling programs in your area.

The EPA at also offers information about the benefits of recycling, or eCycling, your electronics. The benefits they list are:

  • Conserves natural resources. Recycling recovers valuable materials from old electronics that can be used to make new products. As a result, we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce pollution, save energy, and save resources by extracting fewer raw materials from the earth.
  • Protects your surroundings. Safe recycling of outdated electronics promotes sound management of toxic chemicals such as lead and mercury.
  • Helps others. Donating your used electronics benefits your community by passing on ready-to-use or refurbished equipment to those who need it.

The EPA and their partners make getting rid of your electronics as easy and environmentally friendly as possible and some companies will even come right to your doorstep. The Internet provides a great deal of resources for companies with solutions for your old electronic problem; but make sure that they have been approved by an organization, like the EPA, to ensure that your electronics aren’t simply being shipped overseas to be dumped there.

Article credit : WeEarth Network - An online community for the socially and environmentally conscious including a social network, magazine, online store and video studio. Become a WeEarth social network member (its free) to receive your own WeEarth blog, photo & video gallery and to meet other social and enviro conscious college and university students


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