How to Dispose of Electronics

From smartphones to laptops, and tablets to smart home devices, we rely on these devices for communication, entertainment, and productivity. Americans today, on average, own 22 electronic devices per household. However, as technology advances at a rapid pace, the question of what to do with old or unused electronics becomes increasingly relevant. 

Only 17% of e-waste is recycled properly worldwide. Improper disposal of electronics can have serious environmental consequences, including pollution and resource depletion. In addition, electronics contain materials that impact the soil and damage water sources.  In this article, we’ll explore the importance of responsible electronics disposal and provide tips on how to dispose of electronics properly.

What Electronics Can You Dispose Of?

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand which electronics you should dispose of. Common items that you shouldn’t throw in the regular trash include:

  • Smartphones and Cell Phones: These devices contain valuable materials such as precious metals, plastics, and glass that can be recycled.
  • Computers and Laptops: Components like circuit boards, hard drives, and monitors contain hazardous materials like lead and mercury, making proper disposal crucial.
  • Tablets and E-readers: Similar to smartphones, these devices contain recyclable materials and should be disposed of responsibly.
  • Televisions and Monitors: Old CRT (cathode ray tube) TVs and monitors contain leaded glass. This glass poses environmental risks if not handled properly. However, you will have to confirm with your service provider if they accept these items. ShredTronics currently does not accept CRTs.
  • Printers and Scanners: These devices often contain plastic and metal components that can be recycled or repurposed.

Choosing A Service Provider for Electronics Disposal

This is how you dispose of your electronics through ShredTronics

Once you’ve identified which electronics to dispose of, the next step is to find a reputable electronics recycling service in your area. These services specialize in the proper disposal and recycling of electronic waste, ensuring the recovery of valuable materials and the disposal of hazardous substances safely.

When choosing an electronics recycling service, consider the following factors:

  • Certifications and Compliance: Look for certifications such as R2 (Responsible Recycling) or e-Stewards, which indicate that the recycler adheres to strict environmental and ethical standards.
  • Data Security: If you’re disposing of devices like computers or smartphones that contain personal or sensitive information, choose a recycler that offers data wiping or destruction services to ensure your data remains secure.
  • Transparency: A reputable recycler should be transparent about their recycling processes and provide documentation or reports detailing how their electronics will be handled. You will want to ask if they provide a certificate of destruction detailing the process. However, a drop-off location will not provide a certificate of destruction.

Once you’ve selected a recycling service, gather all the electronics you wish to dispose of and prepare them for recycling. Remove any batteries, SIM cards, or other accessories. In addition, consider wiping any personal data from devices like smartphones or computers if possible.

Choose Your ​​Method of Disposal

Now that you’ve identified which electronics to dispose of and chosen your service provider, let’s explore the different methods available for disposal:

  1. Pick-Up Services: ShredTronics offers pick-up services where one of our service providers will come to your home or office to collect old electronics for recycling. This option is convenient and eliminates the need for you to transport the items yourself. This option is most cost-effective for businesses or large households with a large amount of electronics to dispose of. Schedule a pick-up time that works for you with your service provider, and they will handle the rest.
  2. Mail-Back Services: ShredTronics offers a mail-back program called Ship N Shred. With Ship N Shred, you can ship old electronics back to your service provider for recycling. This option is convenient for those who have only a couple of devices or for individuals who do not have access to local recycling facilities. Simply package your old electronics securely and follow the instructions provided by the provider for shipping.
  3. Drop-Off Services: ShredTronics has drop-off locations or recycling centers where you can take old electronics for disposal. Simply gather your old electronics, find a drop-off location near you, and deposit your devices in the designated bins. Drop-off locations will typically charge a fee depending on the device. Search locations in our directory to find the closest location near you and their pricing.

Safely Dispose of Your Electronics With ShredTronics

By taking the time to dispose of electronics responsibly, you’re not only helping to protect the environment but also contributing to the conservation of valuable resources. Every device recycled reduces the need for raw materials and helps to mitigate the environmental impact of electronic waste.

Ready to dispose of your old electronics responsibly? Contact ShredTronics at (844) 648-4908 or fill out the form today to start the process.