Editor’s note: last updated 10/5/2019
Potential Tech Recycling Pitfalls
There are a few things to be aware of when recycling your old technology. The first is data security.
When you pass on technology to another person, if you have not securely wiped the data, it can lead to your personal information becoming exposed.
It is common practice to simply reformat or send files to the recycle bin to “wipe a drive.”
This is wildly insecure. There are numerous programs that can be used to salvage deleted data that are readily accessible with a quick google search.
While selling old technology does net you some funds towards something new, electronics depreciate astonishingly fast. The rule of thumb is that value halves every year for technology.
Also, if you venture into craigslist or eBay you run the risk of having to bargain with buyers to get the most you can out of it. That is if you don’t get scammed on Craigslist or have buyers hassle you after the fact on eBay.
Lastly, when you throw away a computer, a cell phone, or any other technology without recycling it correctly it can substantially pollute the environment.
This is part of a larger trend in terms of the growth of waste. Replacement rates for technology have not decreased significantly.
In fact, the share of large household appliances that had to be replaced within the first five years grew from 7 percent of total replacements in 2004 to over 13 percent in 2013 that’s nearly double in less than a decade.
Not only is there planned obsolescence to contend with, but even the right to repair your own technology has been threatened.
According to a Gallup poll, 89 percent of young adults (18 to 29) own smartphones; 41 percent of the older generation owned VCRs at the same age respectively to put it into perspective.
- So, what does this all mean and how can you ensure that you not only getting the most out of your technology?
- Also, how do you ensure you are being responsible with your technology from a carbon footprint perspective?
You can find plenty of local resources that can point you in the right direction to make an educated decision and have a better understanding of the impact of throwing away technology as well as recycling it.
Countries like the United States regulate where and how e-waste gets recycled, but many goods still fill landfills instead. Of the $206 billion spent on consumer electronics in the U.S. in 2012, only 29 percent of the resulting e-waste generated was recycled. The rest were simply trashed. Who even remembers what they did with their first (or third, or fifth) iPhone?
Most technology companies are not in the market to help you extend the lifetime of your technology equipment you have purchased from them. Their primary objective is to get you the latest and greatest device so that you can keep up with the Jones’s.
Now, by no means is this a bad thing. We are all want to remain relevant with our technology so that we can communicate and function on the highest level possible. That is something that is universally understood in every country in the world. So how do you remain relevant while also getting the best bang for the buck for your equipment?
There are steps. These steps tech you can teach you how to keep your technology up to date and running smooth. These are steps that not only keeps computer repair people in business, but it also props up the back-bone of numerous companies because let’s face it teaching your mother on how to reformat and operating system is more than likely not going to happen? There are so many routes to go and all of them are feasible options.
- Pay for a warranty for your equipment that can extends the lifetime of your equipment
- Have a reputable company maintain and clean your equipment
- Are we not giving steps to maintain your technology, not to get rid of it?
- There are plenty of resources on the internet that can teach you how to maintain your technology
- Communicate with technologically-skilled people you know for additional help.
What to expect after you have educated yourself in all the options when it comes to recycling your old tech?
If you go through the above steps you can gain a better understanding of the power of your technology, how to maintain it, and the impact you have if you recycle your technology the correct way.
These steps will not only save you money, but it will also help you take a step in the right direction with keeping your environment, and the world for that matter, in better shape than when you found it.
Technology recycling is one of the least mentioned scenarios and potentially one of the most important ones. Since it can end up costing you the most amount of money. For instance, learning how to reload an Operating system rather than going out and buying a whole new computer could potentially save you hundreds of dollars.
Knowing where to bring a piece of technology so you could get the most amount of money out of it. Recycling tech rather than throwing it away may also give someone else the opportunity to own a computer that they normally could not afford.
Every person being aware of the recycling options does in fact makes a difference! Believe it or not “each U.S. family throws away nearly 400 iPhones’ worth of e-waste every year”. Do your part to get familiarized with your local E-Waste recycling plant and utilize your local technician to help guide you in your options. Do your part to pass the word as every little bit helps!