We enjoy upgrading our electronic devices when new brands and new models are released, but that leaves us with a pile of old devices that need to be given away or recycled. It can seem like a complicated process, but with a little research, electronics recycling is the safest way to dispose of your gadgets to make room for new ones.
Electronic waste has become an important topic of discussion with environmentalists because of our dependence on these products to work and live. Laptops, smartphones and tablets can all be recycled and you’ll be satisfied to know that you’re protecting the environment with these methods.
Why Recycle Your Devices?
There are several reasons you shouldn’t just throw your old devices in the trash, but the most significant is the presence of toxic chemicals in these products. Elements like lead, mercury and cadmium can be very dangerous when they’re absorbed through air, water and food, so it’s imperative that all your electronics, including televisions and PC’s are recycled safely and responsibly.
The toxins are created through chemical processes used to make your devices, and when they’re exposed to the environment, they will cause harm to the population in the surrounding area. When we don’t use electronics recycling and choose to dump our devices into a landfill, we leave ourselves open to birth defects, cancer and organ damage.
What Are Your Options?
High standard e-stewards are located in every U.S. state that will not only recycle your devices, they will also refurbish things that still work. You’ll need to make sure you delete any personal data you might have on your items, but this is one of the most beneficial and easiest ways to dispose of your gadgets. You can also donate functional devices to organizations that will redistribute them to areas of need like schools, non-profits and other parts of the world to help with job training and economic growth.
Recycling cell phones is probably the easiest thing to do, since there are several ways to mail out your phones free of charge. A quick web search will give you enough comfortable options to choose from.
Earn Money While Going Green
Electronic manufacturers will sometimes offer to take back your devices for responsible recycling, and depending on the company, you may get money back with the trade in. In most cases, you can contact the manufacturer directly to find out how they handle recycling their products. Apple especially has an extensive recycling program for all their products.
Locally, you can check your town or city’s calendar for a collection date for used electronics. If this isn’t an option, however, you can bring most of your old products to retailers like Best Buy and Staples. These stores are known to be responsible recyclers since they partner with the brands they sell.
If your devices are in good working shape, you can also try to sell them yourself. Again, make sure that all your personal data is wiped or deleted from the item. Websites like eBay and Green Buyback are great places to try and make some money back on the devices you’ve outgrown. There are plenty of people who will want your devices at a discount.
Electronics recycling doesn’t have to be time consuming or complicated, but it is a very important part of being an environmentally responsible consumer. With a little research, you can donate, return, sell or simply find a reputable recycler to dispose of your gadgets without using landfills. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that someone else might be getting use out of your devices, and you’re also helping to avoid environmental illnesses from electronic waste. Being responsible will ensure you enjoy your upgrades even more.
Once a tyre is no longer fit for its primary purpose of moving your car along a road, what do you do with it? Do you simply toss it aside or jettison it in a landfill, or do you try to find a practical way in which it can be customised to give it a new lease of life?
This infographic from Titan Australia explores the alarming extent to which scrap tyres are wasted and suggests several different ways in which they can be repurposed. By finding a new use for scrap tyres rather than just dumping or burning them, you’ll be helping the environment and exercising your inner creator.
Next time you have a tyre that’s served its time propelling your vehicle, think about how it can be revamped into a solution for something in your home or garden instead of dumping it and creating another environmental problem in a world that’s full of them.
By now, just about everyone is familiar with the “unboxing” video, that video posted to social media of someone excitedly opening up a new piece of tech and marveling at how it works. What you won’t see, however, is the video where someone takes the old tech that’s being replaced by the shiny new model and throws it in the trash. Disposing of old electronics doesn’t get the same attention the unwrapping of new technology gets, but it deserves that much attention and more because of how important it is for the environment.
Unwanted electronics, or e-waste, is a growing concern around the world because of the severe consequences associated with its disposal. Because of the harsh chemicals used in their manufacture, electronics can cause pollution of groundwater and soil if thrown into landfills. The majority of e-waste ends up in developing countries, where they are broken down into their valuable raw materials using methods that are extremely hazardous. This creates significant levels of pollution in the process. Even though e-waste is a serious problem, there are plenty of ways we can work to reduce it. The following guide from Digital Doc Repair, illustrates just how serious a problem e-waste is, as well as some simple steps you can take to make it better.
Creating something new out of something old or unwanted, referred to as Creative Reuse or Upcyling continues to gain popularity as people become more aware of unnecessary waste and the impact the waste has on the environment.
With so many places, such as Pinterest, available for inspirational ideas for upcycling here at The Rug Seller we delved into the minds of others, so to speak, and were amazed by the ingenuity of others. The infographic showcases some marvellous ideas for transforming old rugs into wonderful new things.
From fashion accessories to items for your pet and your home, there are so many options and ideas it makes no sense to simply discard an unwanted rug into the rubbish bin when you can make good use of it. Furthermore, reusing it means that it won't be taken to landfill sites which is a great way to do your bit to help save the planet.
So, if you're thinking of giving a rug a new lease of life take a look at the infographic below and be inspired to get creative. You've nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain. Who knows you may even be inspired to think of other items around your home that you can upcycle and re-purpose rather than throw away.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans produce roughly 254 million tons of waste every year, yet they only recycle about 34% of it. We’ve all heard about the benefits of recycling as well as the dangers of our rapidly growing landfills and the environmental effects of toxic waste. So, why aren’t we doing more to save our planet? Why aren’t more Americans recycling?
As it turns out, many people simply don’t understand the process of recycling. Without access to accurate information, a lot of Americans are making the same avoidable mistakes. These recycling blunders include thinking that plastic bottle caps are not recyclable, tossing dirty items into the recycling bin, failing to sort properly, trying to recycle the wrong kinds of glass and plastic, and several other minor errors. Unfortunately, even a minor error can contribute to the bigger problem.
Precious resources are wasted when Americans don’t recycle, costing us the health of our planet and a significant amount of money. In fact, research shows that if we were to properly dispose of all of the recyclable materials in our waste stream, the U.S. would generate over $7 billion. In order to clean up the waste disposal process, more people need to be educated about the best recycling practices. Residents and business owners can also hire a junk removal service to take care of the dirty work, separating recyclable materials and hauling them away for proper disposal.
Did you know that ink cartridges take about a thousand years to decompose? Millions of empty ink and toner cartridges end up as trash in landfills, spelling trouble for the environment. On a slightly positive note, other empty cartridges make their way to incinerators and used to generate energy.
Aside from using a voucher code to go and buy that next ink cartridge, you should be looking at other options that will not only work out cheaper in the long run but benefit the environment too.
If you have empty printer cartridges lying around, why not turn trash into cash and save the planet while you’re at it? Recycling cartridges doesn’t only reduce the amount of plastic in landfills, making it good for the environment; it’s also good for your wallet because you can get cash back for every cartridge you send in for recycling.
Recycling empty ink cartridges is easy, and here are some of the best ways to do it.
Check the box
If you still have the box the cartridge came in, check it for instructions on recycling. It may provide free postage if you want to send the cartridge back to the company for recycling. If you don’t have the box anymore, visit the manufacturer’s website for information. Some companies offer customers various options for recycling toner and ink cartridges, including a bulk return option, with return shipping already paid for.
There are many groups that accept empty cartridges in exchange for cash. Some sites accept all kinds of ink cartridges, while others have a list of the kinds that they can accept. You may either have your cartridges picked up or go for pre-paid free shipping. Some organizations offer up to $4 for each used cartridge.
Ask your local government for recycling programs
Some municipalities have their own recycling programs for old computers, printers, cables, and other electronics, including used ink cartridges. Your town may already have its own recycling project in place, with proceeds going to community projects such as the improvement of parks and playgrounds, or prizes for the town fair.
Do a fundraiser
If a school, charity, or church group you know is in need of funds, why not collect empty cartridges from the neighborhood as a fundraiser? Once you collect the cartridges, sell them in bulk online and donate the proceeds to the fund. It’s a great initiative and you kill two birds with the same stone: you help keep the planet green and you also help those that need the money most.
Visit an office supply store
This is something you can do online or in-store. Some office supply retailers have their own recycling programs that give coupons in exchange for cartridges you turn in for recycling. Loyalty program members may get more goodies, such as reward points you can use for future purchases or a discount on printer ink that you purchase. If you buy school and office supplies on a regular basis from a local store, it would be a good idea to sign up as a member.
Have your cartridges refilled
Reusing is technically not recycling, but consider this option if it’s the first time your cartridge runs out of ink. You can reuse empty inkjet cartridges by having them refilled. There are many companies that can refill cartridges for you, saving you the cost of buying a new one. You can also purchase DIY refill kits just be careful you don’t end up spilling the ink and damaging the cartridge’s components. When a cartridge reaches the end of its life—say, around up to a maximum of five refills—that’s when it’s time to recycle.
Recycling is a very hot topic in the UK at the moment. An increasingly popular notion for many years, it is currently in the public eye more than ever – and about time, too.
200 million tonnes of waste is produced annually in the UK alone, and each household throws away a shocking 40kg of plastic per year.
However, this figure will shrink dramatically if we all do our best to reduce, reuse, and recycle; the nation is certainly getting better at recycling household waste, judging by the statistics. Take a look at the infographic below and find out all about the UK’s waste, waste types, recycling, and many related fascinating facts and figures.
We hope this infographic inspires you to take action today.
Due to thousands of people living in the one space for an entirety of five days there is not only packaging waste but thousands of materials are left behind, which begs the question, should all festivals go eco-friendly?
Glastonbury 2016 Packaging Waste
The clear up after one of the UKs biggest festivals has begun. This year at Glastonbury there was an estimated 800-strong clean-up crew that have been help restore the site back to its natural state. Lets look at the festivals waste in numbers:
In 2016 there was:
- 1,650 tonnes of waste
- 5,000 abandoned tents
In 2015 there was:
- 11 tonnes of clothes
- 6,500 sleeping bags
- 5,500 tents
- 3,500 airbeds
- 2,200 chairs
- 950 rolled mats
- 400 gazebos.
This year the clean-up bill could cost the festival close to £1 million and volunteers are likely to sort through a ridiculous nine tonnes of glass, 54 tonnes of cans and plastic bottles, 41 tonnes of cardboard and 66 tonnes of scrap metal.
How to Prevent Waste at Festivals?
Targeting packaging which is one of biggest causes of waste such will make a huge impact on your festivals environmental footprint. It is the little changes that will make a big difference. Take into consideration on how cups and bottles can be used again. One of the best ideas for this is to provide free water taps to encourage festival-goers to re-use bottles.
Scottish Festival T in The Park started a project which gets campers to join their recyclying initiative. Once campers have finished their drink they can take the empty cup to one of the special Cup Recycling Points to collect your 10p.
All the cups that are collected then go into special recycling skips which are taken off-site to be recycled. This means that they are reducing the amount of litter pollution on the site whilst promoting eco policy to their weekend residents.
Reusable bottles are being used at Shambala and Glastonbury to promote recycling. Shambala’s Bring a Bottle initiative has banned the sale of disposable drinks bottles onsite which will make a significant difference when it comes to waste. Similarly, Glastonbury have joined up with WaterAid and Raw Foundation to create a stainless steel bottle which can be used at the festival.
Eco Friendly Events
The Organising Committee behind the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) applied a waste free initiative at the London 2012 Olympics. The Games was a success and became one of the biggest zero waste event in history:
Re-use: It was not just the packaging that was recycled after the event the majority of equipment was donated charities, athletics equipment is now used all over the UK, tennis balls were donated to Battersea Dogs Home, and timber from staging has been salvaged and used again.
Recycling & Composting: All Food and drink packaging used at the games was recyclable or compostable – and each package was labelled to help consumers sort it into the right bin.
Energy Recovery: The left over waste can also be re-used, and was sent to energy recovery. Materials which can be send for energy recovery include contaminated plastics, shrink wrap, crisp packets, milk jugs, napkins, sugar, salt and pepper sachets.
What Type of Packaging Should Festivals Use?
A packaging supplies company have confirmed that 83% of consumers worldwide say that it is important for businesses to construct programs which are environmentally friendly and 22% of consumers would pay more for an environmentally friendly product.
Although festivals are introducing reusable initiatives it is not always feasible. Therefore, they should use a recyclable type of packaging. Cardboard is one of the most used and recycled materials on earth and by recycling cardboard packaging it will have a ripple effect which will essentially reduce energy.
Corrugated Cardboard is the best type of cardboard to use for eco-friendly festivals as it can be made from 100% recycled materials. Cardboard and corrugated material is also easy to dispose of and can be separated and recycled. Corrugated Cardboard is also biodegradable which means if it is not recycled or reused it can be put straight back into the lands.
Being eco-friendly at Festivals is not just down to organisers, there must be a conscious effort made by festival goers and perhaps fining for unethical disposal. Littering at festivals is not only caused by packaging waste but by left over materials such as tents and sleeping bags. If you are going to a festival and intend to leave your material – consider giving it to a charity instead!
Author Bio: This article was written by Melissa Lang from Glasgow, Scotland. Melissa is a freelance writer with multiple years’ experience working at Festivals and Events.
Whilst eco waste recycling is far better than sending waste off to languish in landfill, there are some instances when placing an item into the recycling bin can actually do more harm than good. This is mainly because materials that cannot be recycled or that cannot be recycled together are placed into the same bin. The main culprit is plastic, as there are many different types available. Unless you’re diligent about sorting all your plastics, you could be doing more harm than good.
Did you know that plastics are chemically categorised by numbers? These are often displayed inside the chasing-arrow icon that you will see on many different containers. The two most common types are plastic #1 (polyethylene terephthalate, or PETE), which is mainly used in soft drink and water bottles, and plastic #2 (high-density polyethylene, or HDPE), which is mainly used in things like detergent bottles. Whilst plastics marked with either of these numbers are generally considered recyclable, it’s important to note that not all containers displaying these numbers actually are.
Why Is This?
This is because many plastics actually contain additives that have been blended into the original resin. These additives will create discrepancies, even within each category. Think of it this way – every container in the supermarket has been manufactured with a unique blend of chemicals (from moulding agents to dyes) that all combine to give them their shape, colour, strength and flexibility. As a result, they will all melt at different temperatures and will respond differently to new additives. This means that they cannot be melted down and recycled together in order to make a new product – they are incompatible.
Sorting Is Crucial
Because of this, most plastics – apart from the clear bottles that we seem to find everywhere – cannot actually be recycled by most councils. This not only applies to #1 and #2 containers, it applies to #5 (which includes yogurt and takeout containers), plastic bags and hard plastic packaging (neither of which even earn a recycling number). All of this has made sorting critical to the eco waste recycling process, especially when it comes to plastic. This can either be done manually (which is accurate but labour intensive) or automatically (which is more efficient but less foolproof).
It’s important to keep in mind that any contamination in the recycling bin will compromise the strength and durability of the recycled plastic that is ultimately produced. This, in turn, compromises its future use as a manufacturing material. After all, a recycled container needs to be strong enough to hold the weight of whether is placed inside it. As many shapes already contain weak spots where the plastic isn’t as thick (such as around a handle), this has made it incredibly difficult for manufacturers to produce containers made from a high percentage of recycled plastic. Many, however, are doing their best to achieve this.
If you’re wondering whether you should continue to recycle your plastics or whether you should just start tossing them into the landfill, it’s important that you don’t give up on eco waste recycling. Just pay a little more attention to what sorts of plastics your council collects and bring all the other types to other recycling facilities so that they can be properly sorted. Stop tossing anything remotely plastic into the recycling, as it’s doing more harm than good.
As urban populations grow, cities are adapting and changing for a greener future. An increasing effort to recycle is being made, but who's trying the hardest? Expedia.ca has pulled together the top cities around the world that have stand out accomplishments by working towards a more sustainable future.