We talk a lot about the volume of e-waste being produced today, and various problems that may arise as a result of people not recycling their computers, TVs and other items. So, once you’re on board with the idea, how do you go about recycling those electronic goods properly? Here are the options you can usually try.
1) Take-back schemes
The most efficient way for a consumer to recycle old goods is to take them back to the store they were bought at. In Europe, all shops are subject to Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations meaning they are required by law to offer you a way of recycling your old items when they sell you a new model. In addition, the largest stores actually have to provide recycling facilities for small devices such as mobile phones that weren’t necessarily even sold by them. In the US there are many national schemes offering subsidies for similar policies.
2) Local recycling services
If you aren’t buying a replacement model from a major electronics shop or you would prefer a different solution, you can turn to other local services that will process your e-waste and recycle it. There may be local private companies offering the service (although you may need to check their rules to see if your item is suitable), or you may be able to arrange a collection with your local council.
3) Charity shops
If your items are still in good condition and could be used by someone else rather than being processed for scrap materials, then donating them to a charity shop may be the most efficient overall solution. Not all shops will be able to accept your item so call ahead to make sure they can if you have somewhere in mind.
4) Recycling websites
If all else fails, look online for an alternative. You might be able to make money from your items, either selling them on a standard online auction site like eBay or getting them traded in for a fixed amount from a company that will recycle them for you. You can even find community sites that allow you to donate your unwanted items, and they will go to someone who needs them.