what happens to recyclables

What You Should Know Before You Throw Out Your Electronics

Though every municipality differs in processing your waste, you should, as a homeowner, be aware of the special needs of handling any electronics you're about to throw out. Electronic waste has special procedures required for handling due to the toxicity of materials included in the components, like copper, lead, and other heavy metals. But just because you're ready to get rid of your old electronics doesn't mean that the best way to do so is at your waste management facility. Before you opt to have a municipal system handle your electronic waste and recycle what's old, here's some facts you should understand. 

They May Be Reused

Just because you have old electronics, from large televisions and computers to handheld hairdryers, radios, or cell phones, doesn't mean you should always have it removed or recycled by your waste management system. Waste management processes your electronic waste to keep toxins out of landfills and return usable components, like plastic, glass, and metals back into production lines, which is great for electronic items that will never be functional again. Electronics recycling helps to curtail not only toxins and usable components from entering landfills, but from extraneous use of electricity and water as well as unnecessary greenhouse emissions accrued during raw material processing.

But if you have an electronic item to get rid of that's broken or still usable, you should first consider donating or putting it back into circulation with donation. If your outdated television doesn't appeal to you aesthetically, it may be entirely useful to a person in need, so look to donate it to a cause that can not only appreciate and benefit from it, but may also remove it from your home for free. Even if you have a broken electronic item, you may be able to donate it to a charity that can repair it and put it back into service. So if something you're getting rid of still works or has minor repair needs, you should opt to donate it before you head to a recycling center. 

Recycling May Cost You

Depending on your local waste management, you may or may not be required to pay a fee for electronics waste disposal. Many municipalities include household electronic waste in your bill, with stipulations on when you bring it and how many items you can throw away. If your local waste management doesn't deal with electronic waste, there are many other private industries that will handle and recycle your electronics, with or without a fee. Before you look to remove any electronic waste from your property, check with your local waste management or recycling facility to see which electronics items makes the list, what they'll pick up for free, what you need to bring in to a recycling center, and when it will cost you. Click here for more info.