Electronics are not perfect. No matter how much the population relies on them, they have their flaws—glitches, moisture sensitivity, temperature sensitivity, end-of-life components—the list goes on. Whenever one of your electronic devices fails, it is time to get rid of it. But do not just dump it into any trashcan. Check out this guide to understanding homeowner e-waste disposal.
What Is E-Waste?
E-waste is just a fancy way of saying “electronic waste.” Devices become waste when they are no longer useful. A device does not need to die before a user deems it waste. Any electronic device nearing its end falls into the category.
For example, if your phone still turns on but no longer allows you to open apps or place phone calls, it is no longer useful. Of course, you can still have the device looked at to confirm whether you can fix it. The same thing applies to computers, televisions, copiers, or stereos.
Hazardous Household Waste
There are many hazardous household waste items. Some homeowners are not aware of the dangers some items hold or the consequences of improper disposal. Hazardous waste includes products such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, unused or expired medications, and pesticides.
Carelessly tossing an item containing one of these products is harmful to the environment and people in the vicinity. Specifically, for electronic devices, disposing of batteries could lead to house fires. Even if you do not physically remove a battery from your phone or computer, it still has one. All electronic devices need some type of battery as a power source.
Batteries contain toxic chemicals like lithium, cadmium, sulfuric acid, and lead. Incorrectly tossing these could allow these chemicals to leach into the soil and contaminate the groundwater. Few people know that for these reasons alone, it is illegal to put batteries in the garbage or mix them with the rest of your recycling. You should also be aware that you can’t dispose of:
- Oil-based paints
- Paint thinners
- Lawn chemicals
- Pool chemicals
Non-Hazardous Household Waste
Non-hazardous household waste does not severely threaten the environment or human health. However, that does not give you a free pass to dump certain things into the trash or sewer line because they can still pose risks.
Some common types of non-hazardous waste are natural gas waste, mining waste, medical waste, scrap tires, industrial waste, construction debris, and agricultural waste. Check the laws for your locality to see the proper way to dispose of these items. There are different requirements for every state, and following them ensures the safety of everyone in the area.
Authority figures, waste management companies, and recycling centers can provide homeowners with clear distinctions between non-hazardous and hazardous waste. Some items are pretty straightforward, like metals, plastics, paper, and glass. However, other waste, like agricultural waste, could be confusing.
It depends on whether the item contains pesticides. The information should be on the label, but you can always confirm with the proper facilities.
Disposal options are the most important thing to learn. Too many homeowners toss e-waste in their home trashcans without knowing the dangers.
Never throw electronic devices away before receiving clear instructions on the correct method. Luckily, the options are plentiful. You do not need to stick with one.
Recycling is one of the most popular choices for several reasons. The biggest is the environment. Taking care of this planet is everyone’s responsibility, and the amount of waste generated and released while constructing and developing is overwhelming.
Reusing these devices is the bare minimum we can do. Check with your local recycling plant to see if they will take your devices. The answer will likely be yes, but they will have specific instructions about care, pick-up, and drop-off options.
Some might want to know the condition of the device before they receive it. For example, water-damaged electronics may not be very useful.
Donating is always a generous option, especially if your device still has some life in it. These facilities take your devices, wipe their memory, reset them, and prepare to sell them again. Some might even choose to give them away to others who need them.
Homeowners donate a lot of household items to charities like Goodwill. Aside from furniture, electronic devices, like computers and TVs, are big winners. After collecting your donation, the charity sells them for marked-down prices.
Everyone loves a good return policy. Anytime you can return something to get a portion of your money back, it is a good deal. Places like phone companies, electronic stores, and Apple will take back your old devices. Some phone companies even have policies where you can swap out your old phone for a new one.
However, they have restrictions in place. For example, your phone can’t have any external or internal damage. Places like Best Buy will take back your devices and give you a small reward in exchange. It will not be close to the original price you paid, but it’s still something.
Last, but certainly not least, we have dumpster rentals. This option mainly applies to homeowners or renters who are doing a big cleanout. A closing estate falls under this umbrella. Some items you will want to keep, others you will want to donate, and others you will want to throw away.
When it comes to throwing electronics away, you will need to use the proper avenues. Your provider can give you specific instructions on how to handle e-waste. Here at Vine Disposal, we help our customers learn the dos and don’ts of waste disposal, including e-waste. Check out our dumpster rentals in Marietta to see the various options.
Some providers will specify separating the items and instruct you on which facilities to contact to unload and dump your waste, especially for hazardous products.
Now that you understand the importance of proper homeowner e-waste disposal you can do your part to ensure the safety of everyone. For more information, visit our website.