Recycling Electronics: Too Many Americans Trash Old Gadgets

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Americans tend to own several devices, many of which are out of date, according to new research. The demand for the latest technology is on the rise but as we replace old devices, we either leave them sitting around to gather dust or we chuck them in the trash. We don’t tend to take recycling electronics seriously.

According to research conducted by Staples, we Americans are a gadget happy people. While this is no surprise, our lack of care for our outdated devices is pretty unimpressive. Most Americans have several devices including a smartphone (70 percent), a laptop (76 percent), and a TV (92 percent). What’s more, a third of Americans own two or more smartphones, two laptops, and three or more TVs. This leaves too much used junk just sitting around the house.

According to the study:

[O]f those who have replaced gadgets in the past year, few recycled the old one (11%). In fact, more people threw their old gadgets in the trash (13%) than recycled them. People are also more likely to hoard devices because they don’t know what to do with them (16%,) than recycle them (11%).

What’s more, we Americans are vain about our tech gear. In all, 62 percent said they wanted brand new tech rather than the refurbished variety.

Do you stand in line to get the latest iPhone? And when your new smartphone becomes old news what do you do with it? According to researchers, “[s]martphone users were some of the worst recycling offenders: 36% of respondents have replaced their smartphone in the past year, but only 8% of those recycled their old one.”

But recycling electronics is easy. Here’s how:

  • Turn your old phone back into your cell phone provider.
  • Buy refurbished tech gear.
  • Declutter your home of old tech junk by recycling it. Go to Earth911 to see where your old gadgets can easily be recycled.
  • Empty data from old smartphones, laptops, and desktops and pass them on to a friend or someone in need.

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Image: edunnette