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Waste of electrical and electronic equipment, eWaste, is generated in massive amounts across the globe today, largely because of the rapid advance in technology that continuously makes some items obsolete and others unfavourable compared to newer models.
eWaste has become a global environmental concern because it contains a host of hazardous substances that may be released as the waste is handled and processed. To reduce the risk, electronics such as old mobile phones, computers, TVs, VCRs, and printers should be properly disposed. Here are some tips for properly disposing eWaste:
Check the condition of your old electrical item. If it still works, consider donating it to a school or charity organisation that refurbishes old electronics before giving them away. This is a particularly good way for organisations that are upgrading to get rid of their computers, printers, and other electronics.
With so many websites that connect you to a large marketplace for used items, such as Craigslist, eBay, and Gumtree, you can easily make some money from your old electronics. The old-fashioned garage sale can also help to get rid of the unused technology cluttering your home.
Nowadays, there are plenty of stores investing in a buyback program. When making an in-store purchase, always ask the vendor if they will buy back your old laptop, camera, or other electronic item. You can also consider trade-in options. For example, Best Buy will give you a gift card when you trade in old equipment.
There has been an increase in the number of recycling centres across the country, so consider performing an internet search to identify any local recycling options that can take your electronics. Once you find ways to recycle locally, share the centres with your family and friends.
Many professional events and conferences today give away little gadgets such as memory sticks, and if you attend many of them, your stock of small electronic gadgets can grow significantly. So, consider making an e-bag to keep all the items collected from these events and hand them out to people who can actually use them whenever the opportunity arises.
Perhaps the biggest cause of the eWaste concern is buying things that you do not need. It is important that you organise the electronic devices that you already have so you don’t unknowingly buy things you already have. Also, always try to buy less: ask yourself whether you really need that gadget or electronic item before buying it.