Where to Find Electronic Waste Disposal Near Me?

Do your part in reducing the number of electronics reaching our landfills by learning about electronic waste disposal and where to find a e-waste site near you.

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What if you were surrounded by invisible toxic waste and it just kept rising? Being surrounded by invisible toxic waste may sound like something out of a science fiction movie. But in this case, the waste is only "invisible" when you don't know what to look for.

What are we talking about? The world of electronic waste! Unfortunately, most people don't know what this kind of waste is or how to safely dispose of it.

What is this waste all about, and where can you find an electronic waste disposal site near you? Keep reading to discover the answers!

What Is Electronic Waste?

Our guide is going to walk you through everything you need to know about electronic waste disposal. First, though, we need to start with the big question: what is electronic waste, anyway?

Electronic waste (also known as "e-waste") generally refers to electronic components that are no longer being used. This may include electronics that are really old, that aren't functioning (or aren't functioning well), or that you are simply no longer using.

On top of that, electronic waste may include electronic components that are obsolete. As technology advances, the cutting-edge gadgets of yesteryear become little more than paperweights. And if you don't get rid of them, these unwanted and unnecessary electronics slowly fill your house up.

This is why we call this electronic "waste:" allowing this stuff to build up around you isn't that much different from allowing fast-food wrappers and food containers to pile up in your home. Eventually, you need to get rid of this waste so you can enjoy a cleaner and more organized home.

Why Is Electronic Waste Disposal So Important?

Our guide focuses on how you can safely dispose of electronic waste. This allows you to engage in electronics recycling rather than just tossing the waste in the trash.

But that brings us to another question: why is it important for you to find a proper e-waste disposal site? Why can't you just toss everything into the trash and call it a day?

The short answer is that electronic waste has things inside of it that are not safe to simply throw away. This may include materials such as mercury and sulfur. But it may also include important identifying information about you that ranges from online usernames and passwords to sensitive info about your bank account and your credit cards.

If this sounds confusing, don't worry: our guide will expand on the environmental and privacy dangers of simply tossing out electronic waste as well as where you can safely dispose of your own. And in time, we can all do our part to create more sustainable cities.

How E-Waste Affects Bodies of Water

Would you believe that throwing out old computers and other forms of e-waste can actually poison nearby bodies of water? To understand why, you simply need to understand what happens to your e-waste after you toss it into a trash bin.

Eventually, that waste will make its way to a landfill. And you might even be tempted to bring is to the landfill yourself, thinking that you're doing the right thing.

However, the sulfur, mercury, and other components inside electronic waste seep into the toxic water underneath the landfill. And that water is actually connected to groundwater and freshwater sources.

Long story short? Simply tossing electronic waste into your garbage or into a landfill means that you are partially responsible for poisoning your local water supplies. But an electronic waste disposal site can safely recycle these components without impacting local bodies of water.

E-Waste and Data Security

Data security is always near the top of our minds. That's because we live so much of our lives online. And if someone gets access to even one of your usernames and passwords, they can wreak absolute havoc on your personal life and your professional life.

If you simply toss out an old computer or cellphone or even video game console, it may have some important data still hidden inside. And if you throw these things out without clearing the storage, then somebody may be able to get your info simply by plugging the electronics in and turning them on.

This problem is magnified when it comes to businesses. The wrong desktop or laptop computer getting thrown into the trash could give someone all of the information they need to bring that company to its knees!

Mining For New Materials

Mostly, we've been focusing on the problems of allowing electronic waste to build up and the problems of simply throwing it into your trash. But when you don't properly recycle your electronic waste, it helps to cause another problem in the form of mining for new materials.

The environmental problems we touched on above (such as poisoning local water supplies) also occur when companies mine for new materials. After all, these are the same materials that power our countless gadgets and devices.

When you properly dispose of electronic waste, it allows us to recycle these materials. Consumers can then purchase recycled electronics and components and lessen the environmental impact.

But the less we recycle, the more other companies are going to mine for new material. In this way, recycling of your electronic waste helps you do your part to keep the planet safe.

Examples of Electronic Waste

Previously, we gave a basic definition of electronic waste, but the definition is very broad. To help you better understand the matter, let's review some common examples of electronic waste.

Home entertainment devices are a major offender (for example, stereos and Blu-Ray players). Even small appliances like microwaves, which are typically replaced every few years, are a major part of the e-waste ecosystem.

As we noted before, smartphones and computers (both desktops and laptops) are electronic waste as well. And different computer components (such as monitors and hard drivers) are e-waste as well. And printers, which consumers have to replace very often, create more e-waste every day.

Honestly, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to e-waste. To make matters worse, some users get a new version of things like smartphones and smartwatches every year or two. It may feel cool to have the "next big thing" in electronics, but that means these users are creating more e-waste on a regular and consistent basis.

How Does Electronic Waste Accumulate?

The biggest problem with electronic waste is how quickly it accumulates. And we already covered one of the primary ways that happens: consumers who compulsively upgrade certain items on a regular basis.

However, e-waste accumulates naturally in other ways, too. Sometimes, it happens when digital media changes. For example, your own home may have VCRs, DVD players, and Blu-Ray players, all because digital home video technology has evolved.

The same is certainly true of computers and video game consoles. Even if you don't have to have the newest and shiniest electronics, the need to periodically upgrade to something better means you have plenty of old stuff lying around.

In other words, this accumulation of e-waste happens fairly naturally from household to household. And when you account for all of the electronics and all of the people using them each day, the problem only gets worse by the year.

Electronic Waste By the Numbers

How bad is the problem of e-waste? The Environmental Protection Agency has tried to figure that out, and their discoveries so far are pretty scary.

According to the EPA, there were 2.37 million tons of electronic waste in 2009 alone. Of that waste, only 25% was recycled, and the vast majority of the rest simply ended up in a landfill.

The amount of electronic waste has only grown since 2009, especially with our recent focus on things like lithium-ion batteries. And this makes the need to properly dispose of your e-waste more important than ever. 

How Can You Find Waste Disposal Sites Near You?

Now you know why electronic waste disposal is so important. But how can you find a waste disposal site near you?

Perhaps the easiest (if not the most obvious way) is to search online. Googling for things like "e-waste disposal near me" can help you find nearby sites. You can also ask around on social media, especially in local groups online.

You can also search for special e-waste disposal events. As the name implies, these are events (often quick pop-up events in major metropolitan areas) that encourage locals to get rid of unwanted electronic waste.

Another option is to contact your local city officials. The city doesn't want you throwing e-waste into your trash for the garbage man to pick up, so an official will be happy to give you any information that is available.

Safely Dispose of Your Electronic Waste Today

Still trying to find electronic waste disposal near you? Fortunately, the answers you are looking for are just a click away!

Here at Recycling Zen, we specialize in helping you live a more sustainable life. To discover local recyclers near you (including electronic waste recyclers), all you have to do is click here!