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

City Homesteading

Across the country, people in communities of all sizes are crafting ways to grow food, build eco-homes and live in harmony with the environment and each other.

Big Breakfast, Lower Body Mass

People that make breakfast their largest meal of the day have lower body mass, while those that make dinner the biggest meal are likely to weigh more, a recent study concluded.

Zinc Inhibits Throat Cancer

University of Texas researchers have found that zinc supplements can inhibit or slow the growth of esophageal cancer cells.

Moderate Exercise Guards Against Depression

A mere one hour of exercise a week reduced depression in 12 percent of Norwegian study participants.

Antidepressants in Pregnancy Linked to Autism

Children born to Swedish mothers that took antidepressants when pregnant had a slightly higher risk of autism compared to mothers with psychiatric conditions not taking the meds.

Add your comment: