With the constant creation of new technology, e-waste is increasingly clogging our lives and landfills. As the volume of electronic waste surges, e-cycling is fast becoming a popular means to deal with the discarded electronics. From the transition to digital televisions to the onslaught of new cell phones, consumers can trade-in their outmoded gadgets and reduce their environmental impact.
As technology rapidly advances, we are constantly 'trading up' to get a faster connection and sharper image - whether its a cell phone, MP3 player or television.
Unfortunately, we don't have a comprehensive way to deal with E-waste. In fact, when the stations go 'lights out' on analog sets next year, there isn't an e-waste program to handle the discarded TV's. Currently, only Sony electronics has offered to take back and recycle old Sony sets. If old sets aren't properly disposed of, we face cadmium, lead, beryllium seeping into the soil and contaminating our water supply.
Consider selling your gadgets so that they can be reused and you can apply the money earned towards a new device. Gazelle pays for and recycles outmoded electronics such as cell phones, MP3 players, laptops and GPS devices in a green manner.
Another option for your digital recycling initiative is to donate the technology to a cause of your choice. Cell phones can be reused by such charities as the Support Network For Battered Women and Recycle For Breast Cancer.
Before deciding to e-cycle your electronics, consider these recommendations from the National Center for Electronics Recycling:
* Reuse- Whether you donate your items or sell them on e-bay, consider the possibility of reusing the electronics before recycling them.
* Protect Your Data--Always backup and erase your hard drive before parting with the gadget.
* Contact The Recycler- Speak with the recycler beforehand as they may only be equipped to recycle specific technology. Pick from this list of Certified Electronics Recyclers.
* See if the manufacturer will recycle your electronic devices. Companies such as Apple, Best Buy, Canon, Dell, Toshiba and Sony offer recycling or trade-in programs. The Environmental Protection Agency provides this database of eCycling partners.
::Locate a responsible electronic recycler in your area.
::Blogger Maura Judkis offers four ways to recycle for cash on the Huffington Post.
::More on green living from the Huffington Post.