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How Recycling Electronics Make a Difference

organize recycling

 

It’s started as a drip and now it’s a tsunami. The rate of new electronics coming into our home is beyond a pace we imagined.  New technology evolves faster and faster.  Recycling electronics makes a difference for our environment.  We can make the conscious choice to recycle electronics.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency:

  • Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 US homes in a year.
  • For every million cell phones we recycle, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.

A scary statistic is the pollution that is occurring in our landfills due to electronics.

  • According to the E.P.A., electronics comprise 1% of the material entering U.S. landfills; yet contribute 70% of the toxins found there.

Because of the rapid changes in technology, we often have a variety of items to recycle.  We can have multiple cell phones, computers, and tablets in our homes.  Here’s the basic steps to recycling electronics in your home or office.

Steps to recycle

Before you change to a new device, be sure you are backing up. It’s easier than ever with different options. You can use the cloud (itunes), a service (Carbonite) or an external hard drive. Be sure to wipe clean your device so you can protect yourself from identity theft or other issues.  (Apple) (Android) . It takes a few extra steps but your security will pay off. You are ready to decide  then if you want to sell, donate or give away your electronics. Inspect your devices to decide if you are going to donate or sell your electronics to be sure they are in top condition to sell.

Places to donate or sell

You can donate your used equipment to Goodwill, a local charity or at retail stores like Best Buy, Staples, and OfficeMax. Specific sites like Ebay Giving Works or  CellphonesforSoldiers recycle your device and may use the funds for a good cause.  These items are recycled and used for others. Sell your used equipment to Amazon, eBay, Gazelle, Glyde and uSell.  This gives you a little cash for your investment. Other resources include AllGreen and Earth911. No matter which path you take,  you are eliminating extra items in your home and clearing space.

 

Good deeds that benefit all of us

Recycling your e-waste takes a few extra steps. Just like all recycling, it’s about creating a good habit.   You can find other ways to recycle electronics in your own community.   This contribution to global well being is well worth the time.

 

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Earth Day: Easy, Convenient Recycling in Kingwood and Houston

Originally written for  www.keepkingwoodgreen.org  by Jan Zaremba-Smith (April 2011)

 

Kingwood TX recycling

 

 

It is easy to get stuck in an organizing paralysis with recycling.  Getting behind with recycling can lead to lots of organizing challenges.  For Kingwood and Houston residents, there are easy and convenient ways to recycle e-waste and BOPA materials!

  • Goodwill http://www.goodwillhouston.org/ has a special program with Dell called Reconnect http://reconnectpartnership.com/ . Goodwill accepts any brand of used computer equipment in any condition and anything that can be connected to a computer; monitors, printers, scanners, hard drives, keyboards, mice, speakers, cords & cables, software, Microsoft Xbox, Microsoft Zune, Microsoft-branded Webcams, etc. They will pick these items up from your house along with any other household donations or you can drop them at one of their convenient locations.
  • Best Buy will accept ALL electronic waste (no more than three per visit) including monitors and TVs up to 32″ (they charge $10 for a TV but give you a $10 gift certificate in exchange).
  • Styrofoam chips and even blocks can be brought to most UPS, FedEx or Mailbox stores. They reuse them for their packaging.
  • CFL Bulbs and regular fluorescent bulbs are recycled at Home Depot or Lowes.
  • Rechargeable batteries can be recycled at many hardware, electronic, and department stores (Alspaughs, Sears Hardware, Best Buy, and Radio Shack). You can also recycle your old cell phones at Alspaugh’s Ace Hardware for the benefit of Keep Kingwood Green.
  • Used Motor Oil can be recycled at O’Reilly Auto Parts, 3219 W Lake Houston Pkwy in Kingwood (next to Walgreens).

All items above can also be dropped at the Westpark Consumer Recycling Center (for City residents only) at 5900 Westpark located at Hwy. 59S between Chimney Rock & Fountain View (Galleria Area) : www.houstontx.gov/solidwaste/westpark.html or the Harris County facility if you live in Harris County but not in the City of Houston at 6900 Hahl Rd @ 290 & N. Gessner, 281-560-6200281-560-6200 Check for operating times. http://www.eng.hctx.net/watershed/hhw_facility.html

All other Hazardous Waste (fuel, pesticides, chemicals, etc.) can be brought to the North Environmental Service Center (713)837-9137(713)837-9137, located at 5614 Neches, Building C. It is open to Houston residents only, every 2nd Thursday of the month from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Harris County residents can take them to the Harris County site listed above.

Want more ideas? Visit earth911.com.