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Green Business: The Guide to Recycling Electronics

recycling electronics

As prominent tech companies continue releasing new technologies that shape the corporate world, small business owners are constantly examining which devices should be adopted and swapped in their stores. Instead of throwing these electronics out for good, it's important to examine the impact of recycling and how it can be implemented in your business.

Recycling electronics - as opposed to merely throwing them out - can not only prevent harmful materials from being released in landfills, but it can also return certain materials to companies that can repurpose them for better use.

The impact of recycled electronics

When electronics are thrown in a landfill, there are certain toxic chemicals that may leak and harm the environment. This frequently occurs with batteries, LEDs or cellphones that have been thrown in the garbage. In fact, some states have have made it illegal for people to toss these devices in the trash, as their substances have such a substantial impact on the earth. Whether you're getting rid of outdated or broken products, recycling can let your company safely throw out electronics while showing your consumers that you have a heart for the environment. 

Which items should we recycle?

Nearly all electronics can - and should - be recycled. These items can be donated or sold to many retailers - not only to be mined for materials, but also to be refurbished and resold to other people. Computers, tablets, batteries and televisions can also be recycled and reused.

While most devices can be recycled, not all stores will accept old electronics. Some stores will pay for gently used devices while others will merely collect them and ship them back to a manufacturer or company that can break them down. If the device is still usable - such as outdated computers or old phones - donate them to organizations that will integrate them in their everyday business. If your device is beyond repair, take it to a nearby center or store that will recycle it for you.

Things to keep in mind

While electronics can be easily repurposed, there are many things to remember before shipping them off or donating them. With laptops and smartphones, it's imperative that you erase any data from the device. If these electronics are reused, your company's private data may be unwillingly released into the world. However, this is an easy fix - wiping your information can be as simple as restoring the device to factory settings or manually deleting documents. It's also important that your remove any batteries from your electronics before recycling, as these can further harm both the devices and the environment if they leak.

Large tech companies are an invaluable resource when recycling devices. Companies not only offer specific sites to drop your electronics, but they also provide guidelines concerning specific products that ensure your devices are safely and securely recycled. Before donating devices or dropping them at a center, check with these companies' sites to see if they have guidance or particular things to keep in mind.

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