If you like to keep up with the latest technology, you probably have a pile of electronic castoffs somewhere in the house, shed or possibly in the rubbish. But, it’s so much better -- for you and the planet -- to recycle them instead of throwing them away. Here’s why…
1. Savvy “pickers” can get valuable information from your electronics
Even if you think you’ve deleted all of the personal data off your mobile phone or other device, hackers who know what they’re doing can still get information that could be used to steal your identity.
2. Toxic materials inside electronics can cause air and water pollution and emit greenhouse gases
Materials from discarded electronics including lead, mercury or cadmium can leach into groundwater and soil, or be released into the air, adversely impacting the environment.
3. It is illegal in some States to toss old electronics.
For example it is illegal in both South Australia and Victoria to dispose of e-waste in direct landfill.
In 2013 South Australia banned the dumping of e-waste in direct landfill disposal areas under the Environmental Protection (Waste Resources) Policy 2010 and Victoria adopted a similar law in 2019.
4. Electronics contain a lot of recyclable materials.
As an example, for every million mobile phones recycled, here are the materials that can be recovered:
- over 15,800kg of copper
- 350kg of silver
- 34kg of gold
- 15kg of palladium
5. Many retailers will take them off your hands (and wipe them clean)
The easiest way to get rid of your electronics is to take them to a local retailer, non-profit or local government recycling program location. They’ll recycle your technology and make sure it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
So next time you need a new laptop or mobile phone, recycle the old one. Consider upgrading the hardware or software in your computer, instead of buying a new one. If you have to have the latest electronics, make sure you delete all of your personal information from your old one first, then recycle it at a reputable location.