Recycle Your Electronics!

Discover how to recycle your old phone, computer and other electronics.

Electronics scrapheap

Of the world's estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to phones. As you know, electronics hardly have a long lifetime. So, when it's time toss our old devices, how many people would you guess recycle them? Less than 10 percent, according to Nokia's latest study.

But on the bright side, e-waste recycling is expected to grow at an unprecedented rate. According to a new reported titled Electronic Recycling (Copper, Steel, Plastic Resins) Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2013 – 2019, experts forecast an annual growth rate of 23 percent in the next seven years.

E-waste describes discarded electronic devices – phones, computers, electronic keyboards, scanners, fax machines and many other devices. These and other recycled materials are a must in our modern age!

Despite representing less than 4 percent of global landfill mass, e-waste contains more than 75 percent of the environmentally hazardous waste. Electronic equipment is made of numerous precious metals, including steel, as well as contaminants such as lead, cadmium, beryllium. Proper disposal of these products is crucial for a sustainable world. 

Europe led the charge in the e-waste recycling market followed by North America in 2012. Most of the e-waste from developed countries was imported to developing nations, such as India, Pakistan and China, due to cheap labor and lack of recycling regulations. At the same time, the amount of e-waste in South Africa is expected to jump 80 percent in the near future, as the country serves as a dumping ground for e-waste.

In some states in the U.S., it's illegal for individuals to dispose of unwanted electronics in their regular trash. In 2012, steel was the most recycled material from electronic scrap, and computers represented the largest segment of recycled equipment. Based on the Global Industry report, these patterns are predicted to remain consistent. 

What Do I Do With My Old Phone?
Research shows that nearly half of unused mobile devices are tucked away in the bottom of drawers. If you fit into this category, rest assured you're not alone. Fortunately, it's easy to recycle your old devices.

Step 1: Check first if a friend or family members wants to use it.

Step 2: Back up your phone memory. Save anything you may want on the phone. You can store it on your computer.

Step 3: Find your nearest recycling point. Go to ecyclingcentral.com to find a spot.

Ilchi Lee, an advocate of a sustainable world, notes how important it is to recycle your old electronics. This will help lower the hazardous materials in landfills and optimize our natural resources.