Because I work in the computer industry, the thing that comes to mind for being sustainable is being responsible when it comes to recycling and reusing electronics. At work and at home we work with a local charity that will try to reuse / resell in a secondary market the old working electronics, and properly recycle and dispose of non functional items.
Dangers of Electronics In Landfills
Electronics not do electronics contribute to landfills but the pose environmental and heath dangers when they are not disposed of properly. Some of the specific dangers are
- Hexavalent Chromium
Please take a quick look at the following to see how really harmful not properly disposing of electronics can be and what products contain these chemicals.
Electronic Waste: The Dangers – covers the harmful chemicals present in electronics and their affects environmentally and on humans.
Hazardous Substances In E-Waste – Lists the substances found in E-Waste and what products contain them.
Protect Your Identity Before Donating or Recycling PCs and Laptops
In today’s world it is extremely important you protect your identity. The sites below will help you remove any personal information from your PCs and laptops before you donate them.
Darik’s Boot And Nuke – This is a bootable program that will erase and write over the information on a selected hard drive.
Eraser – Eraser is an advanced security tool for Windows which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns.
Recycle and Reuse Old Electronics For Free
Many of the organizations below not only provide a free place to recycle old electronics but work with companies that will repair or recondition old electronics and sell them in a secondary market.
TIA E-cycling Central – Find E-cycling centers by selecting your state on their map. EIA member companies follow strict guidelines and regulations when recycling products or contracting with electronics recyclers.
CEA Recycling Help Page – Sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association. There are links for how to donate old electronics, corporate recycling programs and finding electronic recyclers by zip code.
Best Buy Recycling – In addition to recycling old electronics they have free kiosks, just inside the door, for you to drop off ink and toner cartridges, rechargeable batteries, and wires, cords and cables.
Verizon Wireless Device Trade In – This program helps the environment by providing a safe way to dispose of unwanted electronic devices. They even accept non-working devices and the parts will be recycled and used to generate funds for non-profit domestic violence advocacy and prevention agencies. Additionally, there is an incentive to receive a gift card with each donation.