What to do with Old Electronics
Perhaps your family is one of the many in our community that acquired new electronic equipment this past year. The new gadgets have been unpacked, set into place and your family is happily, computing, surfing, scheduling, talking, or snapping pictures! But, what do you do with all of the old stuff?
“E-waste” – discarded computers, TVs, cell phones, and other electronics add to the municipal solid waste stream. The bad news is that this equipment is often made of non-renewable resources and contains hazardous chemicals like lead, mercury, and cadmium.
Here are some ways you can cut down on e-waste. Consider donating used electronics to a nonprofit organization or school. Only donate useable equipment. You don’t want to dump your trash on an organization that doesn’t have the resources to dispose of your e-waste for you. Some organizations, such as Dove in Decatur, reprogram used cell phones for emergency use by their clients. If you would like to donate your old cell phone to Dove you may drop it off at 788 E. Clay or any Dove facility. If your computer is more than five years old, you should recycle it since software and equipment support is difficult to find for older systems.
Recycling is another option to reducing your e-waste. Many manufacturers and retail outlets offer recycling programs. Click here for recycling options available in Macon County.
Before making future electronic equipment purchases, assess your current equipment. Can your computer’s performance be improved by upgrading memory or video cards? Does your cell phone really need to have all of the latest features? Will you use them? Choose a product that has all the features you will need in the foreseeable future, or one that can be upgraded when needed. Assess whether your new equipment can take the place of multiple gadgets such a cell phone that also serves as a PDA or a printer/scanner/fax combination.