According to the EPA, Americans generated 3.16 million tons of electronic waste in 2008, and only 13.6 percent, or 430,000 tons, was recycled. The rest was landfilled or incinerated.
- The best way to reduce the amount of E-waste is to extend the life of your electronics. Review your owner’s manual for cleaning and maintenance instructions. Use protective covers for smaller devices. Never cover the ventilation areas of your electronics, and keep them out of direct sunlight.
- Try upgrading older devices rather than buying a completely new product. Also, make sure you have explored repair options before you replace.
- When it’s time to buy new products, make smart choices by purchasing green electronics. Find electronics and accessories that use less energy, are made with recyclable and recycled materials, and are easier to upgrade, fix and recycle.
Become a Pro
- Check to see if a local school or non-profit organization can use old electronics.
- If you do donate your old electronics, make sure they are functioning and not too out-of-date. Donation organizations have limited resources to diagnose and repair hardware, so passing on a lemon might do more harm than good.
- As a business, you might be able to take advantage of tax incentives for computer equipment donations. The 21st Century Classrooms Act encourages large companies to donate computer equipment to public and private schools.