Tips & Tricks

What You Should Know About E-Waste Recycling in Time for Earth Day

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Now more than ever, it’s a good thing the Earth has its own day. The planet desperately needs it, considering the rate of climate change and the increasing amount we’re adding to our landfills each year. Perhaps no one category of trash is growing faster than electronic waste – or e-waste. So with Earth Day right around the corner, it’s time to seriously consider donating or recycling your electronics.

Don’t think you have enough to donate? Take a quick inventory of the myriad phones, tablets, laptops, DVRs, Nests, and Alexas in your house right now (come on now, we know even you got an Echo Dot for Christmas). Chances are, you have more electronic gear than you know.

The Impacts of Electronic Waste

With the speed of upgrades and technological advancement, we tend to think of consumer technology as increasingly disposable – but that thinking ignores the significant environmental costs of throwing out our electronic waste.

Americans produce the most electronic waste in the world, at about 9.4 tons annually. And only 12-15 percent of that is recycled. As most of our electronics contain one or several toxic substances, including lead, mercury, and beryllium, you can quickly see how 80 percent of e-waste going straight to the landfill isn’t cool.

Okay, I get it, you say. E-waste is bad. But what can I do about it? Thankfully – quite a lot.

First, take stock. If you’re like us, you have several boxes, part of a closet, and a few drawers around the house filled with old tech, peripherals and a veritable jungle of obsolete chords. It all likely adds up to more of an environmental impact than you realized. Designate an e-waste box and fill it up with the collective electronic junk distributed throughout your pad.

Earth Day: Options for Electronics Recycling or Donating

Once you collect your gear, you have several options for recycling or donating your electronics.

  1. Take it to an approved electronic recycler. The common journey of your ditched e-waste gets a little murky after leaving your possession. To ensure you’re doing right by Earth, the best route is to locate an approved electronic waste recycler, a service E-stewards provides via its handy-dandy search-enabled recycler map. For a quick reference of recycling options from big-box retailers and electronics companies, check out this handy recycling program locator from the EPA.

In Seattle? On April 22, from 10 a.m to 6 p.m., our partners at the Habitat for Humanity Store are offering 50 percent off for Earth Day. If you need any sale items moved after purchase, give us a shout – we’ll hook you up with fast, efficient, and affordable delivery.

  1.  Consider donating electronic waste to a charity – if the items are still in good working order. There are a ton of options for finding the right donation fit – so do your research and make sure you’re comfortable with the program’s approach to donations and recycling (and don’t forget to request a receipt for tax purposes)

No matter the route you choose, you have one important step before recycling or donating your electronic waste: you need to clear your personal information. Don’t risk releasing important private data, even on devices you think are dead or inoperable.

Booking a Dolly for Your Electronics Drop-off

Finally – take your stuff to an approved electronic donations charity or e-waste recycler. We know – a lot of these options aren’t conveniently located. So if you’re short on time and still want to participate in helping out Mother Earth this year, book a Dolly.

Dolly will deliver two large boxes of items to an in-town electronic recycler or donation drop-off location for an affordable price, on your schedule – even today. You can estimate, book and pay directly from the app. And, we don’t do broad time windows, so you can book the precise time that works for you without worrying about pickup delays.

So on April 22nd, do the environment a favor – declutter your pad, and donate or recycle your electronic waste. Mother Earth, and your closets, will thank you.

Keep the commitment to Mother Earth going! Learn how to responsibly dispose of your old mattress.

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