Top tips for re­cy­cling tossed-aside tech

Cecil Whig - - WE ATHE R -

Do you know what to do with that old computer mon­i­tor sit­ting in stor­age? What should you do with a re­tired PC or tablet? If the items clut­ter­ing your home were newsprint, plas­tic bot­tles or alu­minum cans, you would know ex­actly what to do with them — re­cy­cle! But if you’re un­sure how to re­cy­cle tech­nol­ogy, you’re not alone.

Nearly per­cent of Amer­i­can house­holds have old tech­nol­ogy sit­ting around, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent sur­vey by Sta­ples. Most peo­ple with old, un­used tech de­vices have one to five pieces they’d like to get rid of, but less than half know how to re­cy­cle it, the 80 sur­vey found.

“You make a lot of changes when you’re try­ing to live a greener life­style, from re­cy­cling all the plas­tics your fam­ily uses to choos­ing more en­ergy-ef­fi­cient ap­pli­ances,” says Toni Ham­mer­s­ley, blog­ger at A Bowl Full of Lemons. “For­tu­nately, you can also green your dig­i­tal life by re­cy­cling old tech­nol­ogy you no longer use. Sta­ples will take a slew of your old and un­used tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts right in-store for free to help you re­spon­si­bly and eas­ily re­cy­cle.”

Re­cy­cling tech­nol­ogy is good for the en­vi­ron­ment, the EPA says. Valu­able re­sources like met­als, plas­tics and glass can be reused; every 1 mil­lion cell­phones re­cy­cled yield 35,000 pounds of cop­per, 772 pounds of sil­ver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of pal­la­dium, ac­cord­ing to the EPA. What’s more, re­cy­cling or do­nat­ing elec­tron­ics re­duces con­sump­tion of nat­u­ral re­sources, green­house gas emissions, and air and wa­ter pol­lu­tion as­so­ci­ated with mak­ing new ma­te­ri­als.

Ham­mer­s­ley, an or­ga­ni­za­tional ex­pert, of­fers some tips for re­cy­cling tech:

* You can re­cy­cle old of­fice tech­nol­ogy that no longer works for free by tak­ing them into your lo­cal Sta­ples. The store will ac­cept the com­put­ers, mon­i­tors, print- ers and nu­mer­ous other types of elec­tron­ics for re­cy­cling — free of charge. For more in­for­ma­tion on the pro­gram and a list of tech items that can be ac­cepted into the free re­cy­cling pro­gram, visit Sta­ples on­line.

* You can also trade in el­i­gi­ble tech­nol­ogy to re­ceive a Sta­ples eCash card that you can use to­ward your next in-store or on­line pur­chase. The lap­top that’s too slow for your gam­ing ac­tiv­i­ties might qual­ify for a trade in and get a gift card to put to­ward new tech­nol­ogy or any­thing else you need within the store.

* Equip­ment that still works can also be do­nated. Good­will ac­cepts tech­nol- ogy items for re­pair and re­cy­cling and schools, churches, char­i­ties and other com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions in your area may ac­cept older tech that’s still us­able. You can also find computer do­na­tion or­ga­ni­za­tions with a sim­ple on­line search. Be­fore you do­nate any piece of tech­nol­ogy, be sure that the or­ga­ni­za­tion can use it and you won’t bur­den them with items they might have to re­cy­cle. Also be sure to delete all your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing files, doc­u­ments and apps that may con­tain per­sonal in­for­ma­tion. Sta­ples pro­vides this ser­vice in stores through their Tech Ser­vices.

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