When the latest and greatest electronic gadgets hit the stores, tech lovers flood the aisles of stores like Simply Electronics in attempts to get their hands on red hot items.
Within a month, the products are yesterday’s news and stores are most likely getting ready to release upgraded versions. Well, perhaps not a month—but technology is quickly outdated, and most gadgets last little more than several years. So what happens when it’s out with the old and in with the new?
ComputerWorld offers handy advice. When replacing or updating electronic gadgets, avoid throwing them in the garbage. The metals and chemicals that once comprised a supposed lifeline device pose as extreme hazardous waste to the environment and health risks should anyone come across the discarded pieces. Condemning used electronics to the dumpster is also potentially illegal, depending on where you live.
Most communities offer recycling programs through the municipal government. These are part of a widespread effort to keep electronics and their toxic waste out of landfills. They are typically run by a town or city’s Department of Public Works or similar organizations. Some pieces may have to be bagged or set aside, or taken to a certain location where collections are taken.
National Center for Electronics Recycling provides guidelines to recycling laws and other pertinent information, as most state governments are infamous for failing to provide these tips.
Electronic retailers are excellent places to recycle old products. Their recycling regimes are implemented bearing state laws in mind, and will accept products whether or not the piece was purchased there. Some stores, such as Best Buy, will trade consumers a gift card in exchange for discarded products. Some companies have an exchange program, like Dell: in buying new products from their store, they take care of your old equipment.
For those that worship the newest upgrades of their favorite gadgets, there are certainly options to take care of excess devices. Donating electronics that are still in good shape is easy and rewarding. The Cristina Foundation offers convenient ways of going about this. Technology turned in to the Cristina Foundation is then distributed to non-profits, schools, and public emergency organizations.
Of course, there is always the option of selling items as well, and competing with prices put out by retailers and other competitors. Companies like Simply Electronics make price bargaining sometimes difficult, as they sell brand name products for affordable costs.
In today’s technological revolution, innovative products are always one-upping what preceded its debut to store shelves. As dependent as we are on our gadgets to survive a single day, being knowledgeable on how to properly discard and replace them is just as important as knowing how to use them.