End-of-life-electronics refers to a number of our electronic goods, including things like computers, cell phones, televisions, and batteries, and many machines used in businesses like ATM machines, and large phone machines, that require safe disposal or recycling. A number of these products may be reusable or recycled to make new products, and all of them cannot simply be thrown into landfills. Many contain dangerous metals or contaminants that can be released if they’re crushed like other garbage, creating environmental hazards.
The hallmark of end-of-life-electronics is that they are considered no longer usable, are obsolete, or just don’t work anymore. Yet since regular disposal of these items via landfill is not an option in many countries and numerous states in the US, many localities have responded by setting up special recycling centers, recycling programs and different places where end-of-life-electronics can be safely left. Some programs, especially through schools, offer fundraising incentives for the disposal of things like cell phones, cell phone batteries, and printer ink cartridges. At other times, you may be required to pay a fee in order to dispose of your old electronic equipment.
Environmental concerns matter a great deal when people are disposing of their end-of-life-electronics, as does security. Most people and companies store secure information on their computers: bank account numbers, tax information, and addresses, to name a few. If you plan to recycle items that contain secure information, you obviously don’t want this data accessed by other people, and erasing it may be more challenging than most people suppose. At computer recycling centers, where computers are fixed or rebuilt for schools or for various nonprofit organizations, special methods are used to be certain that no original data is left for others to access, protecting you from identity theft.
Different end-of-life-electronics may have different disposal methods, or designated recycling centers devoted to certain types of electronics. If you’re having a hard time figuring out where to take old equipment you no longer want, try looking up recycling in your phone book. Some phone books even have a front section designated to the safe recycling of goods. Otherwise, call your garbage disposal company and ask them for names of places that take end-of-life-electronics. As mentioned, you may sometimes have to pay a fee for certain things, including most large appliances, but this fee is normally low and it may be deductible from taxes if you’re donating goods to a nonprofit organization.