How to Repair, Reuse, and Recycle Old Electronics [Avoid Holiday E-Waste]

Our society today is highly dependent on electronic devices. There seems to be an electronic device that helps with almost every activity, from communication, research, socialization and tracking down one’s health and fitness. The holiday seasons are notorious for vast electronic purchases as people gift each other and themselves. Have you ever wondered what happens to the older versions that are disposed of every year? They create a potentially hazardous environmental challenge as most are not biodegradable. See these recycling tips to understand better how you can deter an ecological disaster by avoiding disposal.

Repair Your Used Electronics

A troublesome electronic is an excellent reason for a new purchase during the festive season. The thought of repairing it can quickly become overwhelming if you lack the necessary expertise. Before buying another device because it is the festive season, consider taking your used one to a qualified electrician. You can end up saving a lot of money, especially if it only needed a minor repair. 

An even more cost-effective and practical approach is to troubleshoot online and check for possible causes of the problem. Once you identify the issue, watch a few YouTube videos to learn whether the technical expertise needed can turn into a do-it-yourself (DIY) project. The vast information on electronic repairs online empowers you to find cheaper solutions. Some possible DIY electronic projects include replacing a cracked phone screen, fixing your yard equipment, fixing your watch, among others. 

In regard with this, you can also read: 12 Cheap and Easy DIYs That Will Vastly Improve Your Home

Another excellent option for repairing your broken electronics is to trade services with a fix-it friend. If you have a friend, neighbor, or co-worker who has the expertise to solve your problem, then make a trade by providing a service you can do well in exchange for their skills. You can choose simple tasks they hate doing or have no time to do themselves, such as mowing their lawn, walking their dogs, cleaning their house, or outdoor space.

Reusing Old Electronics

Once you experience the joy of a newer, more powerful device, it is tempting to trash the older one or store it away only to throw it out later. Consider transferring ownership by gifting it to another person you may or may not know. Examine whether relatives, friends, or coworkers would love to use it to make their lives or work easier. 

If there are none you know of, there are numerous donation centers that have connections to many individuals interested in your used electronics. You can make donations to charitable organizations, schools, community centers, religious institutions, or goodwill. Take note that these institutions can resell your used electronics if they do not know someone who needs it or in case they need the money for other pressing needs.

Alternatively, you can resell your used electronics if you want to make a few bucks from them. You can make a second-hand sale offline to someone you know or through a garage sale as you resell other household items too. The internet also offers numerous free, easy-to-use platforms where you can resell to strangers, for instance, Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, or eBay.

Recycling Your Used Electronics

You can choose to recycle your old electronics if you do not find someone to give it to or it is in a broken state to transfer ownership. There are recycling companies that accept specific types of electronics depending on their ability and needs. A recycling company takes used electronics and dismantles them, separating the different materials, such as glass, plastic, and metal, and reuses them in other products. 

You can also take your usable electronic device to a take-back program. Companies initiate these programs as part of their end-of-life logistics to reclaim their used devices and reuse the pieces in the manufacturing process for existing or future products. An example is Apple which takes back its old devices from users. If your manufacturer does not provide these services, then companies like Best Buy and Staples offer an extensive list of electronics that they recycle.

Recycle batteries from old electronics around your home. They are a good source of energy. If you have no use for them, drop them off at a Call2Recycle box in stores like Home Depot and Staples rather than throwing them by the curbside bin. 

Before you make that new electronic purchase, take time to consider the cost of buying a new electronic and the environmental impact that disposal has on our planet. Examine whether it is possible to reduce your carbon footprint by recycling, reusing, or repairing your used electronics as much safer and helpful options. 

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