According to Mark Buckley, the VP of Environmental Affairs at Staples, an estimated 133,000 computers are discarded every day in the U.S. That’s nearly 49 million computers a year! And that doesn’t even include cell phones and other office related electronics.Old electronic junk, or “e-waste” is increasingly becoming a larger problem in today’s electronic age, making the need for recycling more and more important. A lot of people think that paying to recycle their stuff is not worth it, and they just throw it into the garbage to get rid of it. But a few major computer companies like HP, Dell, Sony and Apple are making it easier for people to recycle their old computers when they upgrade.According to Earth 911.org’s website,
Reusing and recycling prevents electronic items from reaching landfills, creating less waste, providing usable items to organizations that need them and recapturing valuable resources.”Â
If you work for a company that seems to upgrade to new computers on a regular basis, start asking what your company is doing with those old computers. If the computers are broken beyond repair, search around for local take back programs or retailers that recycle any electronic product. Look online for the manufacturer of your old computer to see if they have a recycling or take back program. Staples, for example, will recycle electronics from any manufacturer for 10 dollars or less, nationwide. It might not be free to recycle that dusty old computer, but at least they will make sure it is recycled properly.Here at my workplace, I just upgraded to a new Apple computer. Don’t be jealous! After the purchase, Apple emailed me a Fed-Ex shipping label to print out. All I have to do is box up this old PC, stick on the shipping label and drop it off at a FedEx Kinko’s. They’ll take it back and see that it is recycled. Seems like hassle free e-cycling to me!If your computer or other electronics are still in working order, but you have newer models you are using, try selling, donating or free-cycling your electronic goods. There are lots of people who still can not afford to buy brand new computers, so selling or donating yours locally can help others in your community. Ebay and freecycle.org are two good resources for selling electronics, or giving them away.Just remember, it’s all about doing your part. Become proactive at work by asking what they are doing with old computers there. It may cost your boss a little extra to do some good, but doing good will pay off when your consumers and other companies begin to take notice.