Electronics sure have made our lives more convenient and enjoyable. But, after they have outlived their usefulness or have been replaced, they can also harm our environment if they are tossed in the trash.
Instead of putting the old electronics in a drawer or box in the garage, or, worse yet, throwing them away, make a New Year’s Resolution to recycle them at the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County.
Residents can bring any of these old or outdated electronics to one of seven Solid Waste Authority Home Chemical and Recycling Centers to be recycled:
- Audio/visual equipment, such as VCRs, stereos, etc.
- Computer CPUs
- Computer monitors
- Computer peripherals, such as printers, scanners, etc.
- Telecommunications equipment, such as phones, fax machines, etc.
Commercial quantity electronics may require special disposal. Call 561-687-1100 for details on recycling electronics from your business.
Collected items are sorted by SWA staff and hauled away by a private contractor. Any useful components are recovered and reused when possible. Everything else is shredded and sorted into base materials, such as plastics, metals and glass to be recycled into new products.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency:
- Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 US homes in a year.
- For every 1 million cell phones we recycle, 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.
The EPA reports that in 2012, 3.4 million tons of e-waste was generated in the U.S. Of this amount, only 1 million tons, or 29.2 percent, was recycled. This was up from 25% in 2011. The rest was trashed – in landfills or incinerators.
It’s up to us all to save our environment from the metals and other harmful materials found in electronics. So, your first New Year’s Resolution for 2016 may be your best: “Recycle your old electronics.”
For more information on electronics recycling, go to www.SWA.org/Electronics or call 561-697-2700.
With the recent changes to the SWA’s website, anyone can now sign up to receive SWA news, calendar updates, jobs, or other Web postings of interest by signing up online.