This is the time of year when many of us buy or receive new electronic devices.  What do you do with your unwanted devices?  Ideally, you can give it to a friend, offer it out on Freecycle, or sell it on eBay.

If the device is at the end of its life, consider disposing of it in a responsible way.  Why?  According to the Natural Resources Defense Council:   “Batteries and e-waste—such as computers, printers, and cell phones—contain toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. When they are thrown away in the trash, they end up in landfills, and these toxic compounds can leach into soil and water, polluting lakes and streams and making them unfit for drinking, swimming, fishing, and supporting wildlife.”

In addition, these electronics contain resources that can be reused.

If you choose to recycle your e-waste, it is important to select a responsible recycler.   Items that are not responsibly recycled have a high likelihood of being disassembled by people — sometimes children — who are not protected from the hazards posed by handling the toxins in those products.  And with improper disposal, those heavy metals and toxins leech into the soil and water, thereby polluting nearby food production.

The good news is that there is a process for identifying organizations that handle e-waste responsibly.   A select group of recyclers have agreed to adhere to the e-Stewards Standard – the cleanest, most globally responsible standard for e-waste recycling.

Staples is an e-Stewards Enterprise.  They will accept up to 6 items per day from customers, even if you didn’t purchase the item there.  Certain items are eligible for trade in, and can earn you Staples eCash.  Simply check the list of items that Staples will accept, then drop them off.  It’s that simple.

Tags: , , , ,