How often do you purchase a new smartphone, tablet, or laptop? What do you do with the old ones? If you’re pressed for time and don’t need to make a few quick bucks, you may be tempted simply to toss your old devices into the garbage. What you may not realize is that doing so is dangerous, costs you money, and could even get you into trouble. Did you know that you can (and should) recycle your old electronic devices? These are just some of the reasons recycling is important.
1. Recycling Electronics Is Convenient
In the past, recycling electronics was a complicated process that often involved special trips and considerations. These days, it’s as simple as finding an EcoATM location. The company offers kiosks in malls, grocery stores, and other popular locations around the United States and allows anyone who is over 18 and has a valid I.D. to exchange smartphones, tablets, and even old MP3 players for cash. The entire process takes only a few minutes and doesn’t require you to visit certified professionals or to contact your local government first.
2. Recycling Electronics Saves Precious Metals
Depending on how old your device is, it might be full of precious metals. The Environmental Protection Agency says that 1 million cell phones produce nearly 36,000 pounds of copper, almost 800 of silver, 75 of gold, and about 33 of palladium. When melted down, these metals can be used to manufacture other electronics or products. Keep in mind that some older devices have special recycling requirements. Your local government can provide direction.
3. Recycling Electronics Might Be the Law
Depending on where you live, how old your old device is, and which type it is, throwing out your old electronics may be against the law. Putting electronics into traditional landfills causes too many hazards, especially when the components start to rust or degrade and toxins are released into the air. Many states, especially California, are not only cracking down on companies who illegally dump their electronic waste but also on individuals. Recycling could safe you hundreds of dollars in fines.
4. Recycling Electronics Saves the Planet From Production Waste
Electronics are convenient but making them isn’t. Hours upon hours go into creating them, and that isn’t even counting the energy of monetary costs of producing new smartphones and tablets. When you recycle your old items, you protect the planet. According to the EPA, recycling a metric ton of circuit boards has up to 800 times as much gold as mining a metric ton of ore in the United States. Furthermore, one million recycled laptops save as much electricity as 3,657 homes could in a year. Keeping your devices out of landfills also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and water pollution.
5. Recycling Electronics Gives Others Access to Technology
Have you asked yourself “What is EcoATM?” As you researched your answer, you probably learned that recycling your electronics provides others with a chance to use newer technology as well. Brand new smartphones and tablets can be quite expensive. When you turn in functional devices to earn a few bucks for yourself, they can be wiped clean and sold used for a much more accessible price. This makes it easier for schools, members of the military, and people who are otherwise on tight budgets to gain access to useful technology for a fraction of the cost of a new one.
Whether you purchase a new phone every year or every five years, avoid tossing your old one into the garbage. After all, why would you want to throw away your smartphone when you can provide underprivileged people with devices, help to save the planet, and make a few bucks all at the same time? Check your local stores for a kiosk when it’s time for your next upgrade!