For a Greener Tomorrow
For a Greener Tomorrow
  • Ryan Schuster
  • 승인 2010.05.07 11:02
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When we imagine recycling, most of us think of separating paper, bottles and cans and leaving them next to the garbage for the pick-up. But there is another kind of waste that is growing on the horizon and just as significant to the environment - e-waste. Why can't we just leave our old laptops, TVs and cell phones on the corner of the street It will go out will the daily trash, right No, because some sanitation workers do not deal with recycling electronics. Thus, your long and forgotten laptop will be part of the ongoing giant pile of toxic e-waste.  

Here are just a few suggestions for what to do with your unwanted electronics.

Before hand

The best part of technology is everyone adores that wondrous feel when they get something shiny and new, but what do you do with that incredible gadget once it has lost its zip If it's a monitor or a TV, it usually gets moved to the garage or attic to garner dust and await an uncertain fate.

Therefore, gather all of your electronic equipment and separate them into two categories: those that are still working and can be sold or donated and those that are no longer functioning and needed to be recycled.

Next, before those devices go anywhere, make sure that you have wiped the memory off, any devices that may contain any sensitive data.  Luckily you are in luck because there are plenty of programs, such as WipeDrive and Eraser 5.7 that can get the job done for you. If you are still paranoid you always could just remove the hard drive from the computer and keep it in a safe place.

To take-back

The use of electronic products in Korea or even throughout the world for that matter has grown substantially over the past two decades, changing the way and the speed in which we communicate and how we receive information.

Therefore, in the battle to fight against the influx of e-waste mountains, Korea has many secondhand merchants (in Korean "gung-go-poom mai-mai-sang") who may even come to your home to purchase your unwanted electronics. Another idea is to call your regional "gu" for example Seocho-gu or "dong" for example Sinsa-dong office and they will check to see if they can take your used electronics; if not you may need to pay a fee. Moreover, regional recycling centres in Korea (most regional offices have recycle websites) provide information, tools and solutions that make it easy to find new users for idle computers and electronics, and responsibly recycle unwanted products.

Another option is to go straight to the source. For instance, Motorola has a take-back program, which means they accept any mobile phone (just not Motorola) or accessory. Some phones are refurbished for reuse and then sent to developing countries where they are sold at a low price. Also, Samsung Electronics has moved forward to promote environment preservation and resource recycle through collect recycling activities for all products from mobile devices to refrigerators. Furthermore, another major electronic firm, LG is implementing the take-back program too.

On the flipside, not all retailers offer free recycling. For instance, Office Depot has a deal. Purchase different size boxes and stuff all the things you can mustard into it. Take it to the store, and they will deal with it from there.

To donate

Donate working items for reuse whenever possible. Electronics that are in perfectly good condition may be donated to charitable organizations or to churches. For other products whether taken from companies or individuals, what can be fixed is, and what cannot is taken apart. These parts are used in other products, and what just can't be used is broken down, or melted down if it is metal, and recycled into other products. Therefore, nothing is wasted.

Thus, if you are no longer using a device, donate it. The value of consumer electronics declines at an incredible fast pace. Electronic exports claim, a computer that is three years old, for instance, can be refurbished and used by students. However, a computer that is six years old will most likely be recycled for parts.

In the end

Of course, there are plenty of ways to recycle your old goods without having to deal with a big company or the hassle of an online storefront. After all, everyone loves a freebie. Not to mention, charitable organizations are also clamoring for your old goods.

It is important for businesses as well as individuals to do their part to prevent these from ruining our global landscape. This not only helps our planet, conserves our dwindling resources, but also helps those less fortunate with electronic necessities that they could not otherwise afford.

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