It’s a new year…Out with the old and in with the new. If you received some new electronics during the holidays, you may have to dispose of your used and obsolete gadgets. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this.
Just throwing old electronics into the garbage and filling up landfills is the wrong way. Only knuckleheads do that. The right way is to recycle your old stuff. You can give your old electronics to any number of charitable organizations. Or you can do what I did a few weeks back, sold my old electronics at a kiosk at the local mall.
Cell phones in particular are devices that need to be recycled. Just consider these facts that I got off of the recyclemycellphone.org website:
- Cell phones are potentially hazardous waste because they contain lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. If thrown in the trash and sent to incinerators or landfills, environmental contamination can occur from combustion and leaching into soil and groundwater
- Less than 2% of old cell phones are being recycled today
- The EPA estimated cell phones were being thrown away at a rate of 130 million a year - that equals 65,000 tons of waste containing toxic metals
- There are more than 500 million used cell phones in the U.S. sitting in people's drawers or in our landfills
So I was delighted to not add to these depressing figures and get $17 from a machine that recycled my Blackberry phone. The whole process was simple and painless. I sure felt great walking away from the mall with more money in my wallet than when I walked in.
Check out the ecoATM kiosk. They’re popping up in shopping centers around the U.S. For many reasons, it’s a trend you have to support…In addition to putting security on your new smartphone, of course.
IMPORTANT: Remember when recycling any electronic device you need to remove or erase all personal data from the device to protect yourself from identity theft. And yes, I did pull out the SIM card in my Blackberry before letting it be swallowed up by the ecoATM.
For more advice when recycling or selling your mobile device:
Also, learn about other ways of recycling your old electronics:
I work for Trend Micro and opinions expressed here are my own.