Even though we consistently hear about properly recycling our bottles and cans, we rarely think about how important it is to properly dispose of our electronic devices. Safely getting rid of electronics through recycling efforts can greatly reduce the amount of harmful chemicals put into our environment and foster a need for more sustainable manufacturing, rather than constantly consuming raw materials.
Some companies offer incentives to those who recycle their electronics in an effort to encourage more people to be environmentally conscious about their dated materials. Companies such as Dell offer discounts on the purchase of a new computer if you bring in your old one. Many other companies purchase used computers based on their condition in order to repurpose them. Rather than throwing electronic items away, these incentives may be a good reason to opt for recycling.
In addition to incentive programs, there are many other reasons to select recycling rather than simply tossing out your old computer. For example, toxic substances such as lead and mercury can be found in electronic parts. When these devices go to the landfill rather than being recycled, these harmful substances can negatively impact our environment and lives. Fumes released into the air from burned electronic parts can be even more toxic.
Sadly, less than 16 percent of all electronic devices are recycled. This means that among computer products, televisions and cell phones, more than 1.8 million tons end up in landfills. In addition to being a large waste, this has devastating impacts on our environment. Future generations will have to answer to these problems even if we cannot see them for ourselves. This reason alone gives us reason to try to be more conservation-minded.
Because there are so many recycling programs and incentives available, there should be no excuse to not recycle, especially when you can get paid for that old hunk of junk sitting in your garage. Rather than hurting the environment and yourself, attempt to recycle whenever you can.