Four Tips to Ensure Your E-Waste Gets Recycled Safely and Environmentally

Posted on: 16 May 2016

Your old electronics have metal in them, and because you try to live an eco-friendly life, you want to ensure that metal gets harvested and reused. How can you ensure that the process happens safely and responsibly? Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Do not throw your electronic waste in the landfill.

Whether you are disposing of a TV, an old computer, or any other type of electronic waste, you should not throw it out with your garbage. These items do not belong in landfills, and if they are placed there, they may leach dangerous toxins or heavy metals into the ground.

Instead, you need to find a way to dismantle and recycle your e-waste. This allows the reusable parts to be placed back into the production cycle, and it allows innocuous parts to be thrown away without posing harm to the environment.

2. Donate your e-waste.

If your electronics are still working, it may not be the right time to take them apart to harvest the scrap metal. It may be time to pass them on to someone else who can use them.

You may think that the resolution on your TV isn't sharp enough or that the graphics card on your computer isn't fast enough, but someone else may have a real need for those items. Contact thrift stores, schools, homeless shelters, and other charity organizations to see if they want your e-waste. You may be surprised at how many organizations need computers, TVs, or other items to use.

3. Find a reputable recycler.

Instead of throwing away or donating your e-waste, you could find a recycler who is willing to take it. There are a range of companies that accept e-waste. Some specialize in dismantling and recycling e-waste, and others are scrap metal professionals who are also willing to work with e-waste.

If you want to ensure that your e-waste is disposed of properly, take some time to research the company you are using. While most scrap metal yards simply dismantle items and resell the metal domestically, some dedicated e-waste recyclers have been found selling their e-waste abroad.

Once abroad, the e-waste is dismantled carelessly, allowing toxins to get into the environment and potentially putting workers at risk. If you don't want to be a part of this, you need to research your recycler carefully before giving them your waste.

4. Dismantle your own e-waste.

If you don't want to trust the task of taking care of your e-waste to someone else, consider tackling it on your own. With the right tools and a bit of caution, you can take apart everything from computers to TVs to old radios.

For example, with a wire cutter and a screw driver, you can dismantle a computer easily. In most cases, it will yield wires, bits of steel, gold from the processor, stainless steel from the heat sink, and a range of other potentially valuable materials. Once you have these items harvested, you can sell them directly to a scrap yard, and they can put the metal back into the production cycle. You can also take apart televisions or computer monitors so that the copper inside of them can be recycled.

When you scrap your own e-waste, you know exactly where every piece ends up. You know what goes to the landfill and what gets recycled, and you don't have to worry about your old electronics accidentally hurting the earth or another person because a recycler failed to take care of them.

Want more ideas on dealing with e-waste? Want more tips on harvesting and recycling the metal from e-waste safely? Contact a scrap metal dealer from a facility like Big Daddy Scrap. They can help you dispose of your old electronics safely and easily.