Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania Edition

Erase E-Waste

Regift or Recycle Smart Phones

Sunny studio/Shutterstock.com

When replacing holiday purchases of smartphones and other electronic devices, don’t just trash the old ones. Manufacturing electronics consumes many resources and discarded waste can leak harmful chemicals into ecosystems. There are far better ways to redirect and repurpose them.

Besides trading in phones for a rebate, another good option is transferring them to an official recycling program that makes sure all components are dealt with properly. Some states offer special provisions. Check the E-Cycling Central website at eiae.org. Major phone makers and carriers offer recycling programs, and some retailers accept select electronic devices.

Best of all, give a device a new life by gifting it. RecyclingForCharities.com accepts obsolete personal electronic devices by mail; the donor selects a charity to receive the proceeds. ShelterAlliance.net, CellPhonesForSoldiers.com and Phones4Charity.org are kindred organizations.

AmericanCellPhoneDrive.org lets users find nearby charity recycling initiatives via zip code. It provides scholarships for U.S. children that have lost a parent through warfare or terrorism, feeds malnourished children in Asia, builds low-income housing and donates prepaid calling cards to military personnel.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, other unwanted electronic devices can be recycled so that incorporated copper, steel and glass can be recovered and reused. Other materials like lead (in circuit board solder, glass cathode ray tubes of many TVs and computer screens, and batteries) and mercury (in fluorescent backlights of many flat-panel screen displays) can be captured and recycled, instead of polluting the environment.

Small appliances like toasters, coffee makers and clothing irons aren’t considered e-waste and generally aren’t recyclable because they are made of a mix of plastic and metal. Using them for many years helps.


This article appears in the December 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Pillow Self-Talk

Spending a few minutes each night with three purposeful questions will help us to rest content and awaken with joy.

Eco-Upgrades for America’s Landmarks

From the Grand Canyon to the Gateway Arch to the Empire State Building, America’s landmarks are making the old new again with Earth-friendly changes.

Five Reasons to Love a Cat

Cats are low-maintenance, health-enhancing roommates; they’re also surprisingly eco-friendly.

Eye Contact Syncs Baby and Adult Brainwaves

When an adult looks into the eyes of a baby, a synchronization of brain waves occurs that supports early learning and communication skills, say Cambridge University researchers.

U.S. Midlife Women Choosing Natural Health Care

More than 80 percent of midlife women reported using complementary approaches in a recent survey, with herbal teas and vitamins the top choices.

Add your comment: