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How You Should Get Rid of Electronic Waste

How You Should Get Rid of Electronic Waste

Posted by on January 13, 2020
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Technology is constantly changing. It seems that as soon as you buy the latest smartphone or computer, it is in need of an upgrade. But what happens to all these outdated devices when people are done with them?

Researchers have found that Canada has a large amount of electronic waste or e-waste, as it is called in the industry. The average Canadian ditches their device every two years, according to an article by Chatelaine. That adds up to over 725,000 tonnes of e-waste each year. Only 20 percent of e-waste is properly recycled.

However, by taking care of our devices and properly disposing of our e-waste, we can help the environment and our country.

What counts as e-waste?

E-waste includes a wide range of electronic devices, such as:

  • Phones
  • DVD/CD players
  • Computers
  • Printers
  • Portable audio/video devices
  • Satellite dishes
  • Headphones
  • Cameras
  • Routers
  • Televisions
  • Answering machines
  • Electronic music instruments
  • Video gaming systems
  • Electric toys
  • Keyboards

Every province has its own list of items that are considered recyclable e-waste. You can find out what items count in your community by checking out the Electronic Products Recycling Association website.

Why recycle e-waste?

When it comes to the reasons we should properly dispose of e-waste, human health and the environment top the list. These old devices can leak, which puts both the environment and the health of individuals at risk. However, there is another really good reason to properly handle your e-waste: supply. Our favourite devices, like computers, smartphones, and tablets, are made with materials that need to be sourced by mining. By recycling your old e-waste items, you help prevent a supply shortage as well as bring life to gently used electronics.

Most of your electronic waste can be recycled. However, there is a proper way to dispose of these devices. You can contact a waste removal specialist like Red Bins to find out what are the best practices.

How to dispose of e-waste items?

Unlike your usual waste, electronic waste needs to be handled carefully. It can cause problems if you simply toss your device into the trash. Moreover, you miss an opportunity to properly recycle it.

Here are some tips to properly get rid of your used electronics:

  1. Erase your data: Before you decide to discard your electronic device, be sure to remove all your personal information from it. This includes photos, documents, files, and videos. While deleting these items or reformatting the device can wipe your information clean, there are extra steps to take to be sure that your information won’t fall into the wrong hands. Remove any external cards like SIM cards or SD-cards. You should also connect your device to your computer and wipe the internal memory clean. Consumer Reports has published an article that guides users through the steps needed to wipe their devices clean.

  2. Remove batteries: Electronics run on batteries and these tiny components need to be removed so they too can be properly discarded. Batteries are handled separately from most e-waste whether they are being recycled or disposed of. It is important to talk to a professional junk removalist or recycling company about where to properly drop off your batteries.

  3. Locate drop-off depots: Many companies allow people to drop off their old and unwanted electronics. Some of the top programs in Canada include Staples’ trade-in program that offers you money for your unwanted, but still usable, devices. However, they will still take your device if it is unusable or broken, but they won’t be able to offer you money for it. Best Buy also has an e-waste drop-off program. Consumers looking to drop their items off at a Best Buy location should do so at the customer service desk. They also have a box where you can deposit any used batteries to keep these toxic items out of landfills. Apple has also recently expanded its e-waste recycling program. You can contact your nearest Apple store to find out if they will accept your used iPhone or iPad.

  4. Contact the professionals: Proper disposal of e-waste can seem like a complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be. Professional junk removalists, like Red Bins, can help simplify the process. By hiring a professional to help you dispose of your electronics, you can have the peace of mind that your old devices will be handled properly. Our teams are skilled at dealing with e-waste. All you need to do is put your unwanted items in one of our bins. Then, let our teams collect and dispose of your e-waste. We will even clean up for you before we leave.

  5. Buy cautiously: Devices and electronic gadgets are some of the top-selling products in Canada. Statistics show that over 30 million Canadians are mobile subscribers. That is a large number of devices that are in our hands. While it is always nice to have the newest and latest gadget, consumers should consider their electronic purchases carefully. Do you really need a new device or could the one you currently use last a while longer?

Conclusion

Canadians use and throw away a large number of electronics. Yet, when it comes to disposing of your electronics it is important to know that many of your unwanted devices can be recycled. By properly disposing of your e-waste, you can prevent the devices from becoming a health or environmental hazard. In addition, by opting to recycle old electronics, you can help preserve the important materials that companies use as components to build the devices. This can ease the pressure on mining as well as preserve the supply.

For more information about professional junk removal services, call Red Bins at 416-733-2467 or contact us here.