Global Recycling Day – Best ways to recycle and reduce your at home e-waste in 2022 

In 2021 it was reported that over 38 million tons of electronic waste had been “thrown out” worldwide[1]. E-waste is one of the fastest-growing types of waste universally, and there are health concerns over the way it is disposed of. With a lack of proper waste management, electronics are often burnt, resulting in soil, water, and food contamination. Ahead of this year’s Global Recycling Day (18th March) mobile phone recycler and retailer Envirofone, has compiled a list of the most common types of household electronic waste and provided alternatives to throwing them away.

From buying refurbed and second-hand electronics to getting household items repaired, people can make many small changes to their shopping habits to save the environment.

Smartphones and Tablets 

Smartphones contribute to approximately 10% of global e-waste, which is estimated to weigh more than 50 million tons in 2019.

Trade-in your device: One of the easiest ways to recycle your phone or tablet is through mobile trade-ins. Companies like envirofone will pay you for your used phone and tablets; the condition can even be damaged as many companies accept faulty phones. This is an easy way to make money and do good for the planet.

Alternative uses for used phones and tablets

In-Car GPS: GPS apps can quickly drain a phone’s battery. So it can be a good idea to give your old phone a position in your car for things such as Google Maps.

A control panel for smart-home tech: This is one of the best new lives for an older phone. You can use a designated old phone to control your Amazon Alexa, smart lightbulbs, and music. It’s more like a made-to-measure smart-home controller.

Laptops and Televisions

Like our phones, it can feel like we must replace our televisions and laptops every couple of years to keep up with the latest tech.

Donate to e-waste charity: Arrange a collection of any electronic waste with your local charity that specialises in e-waste. They accept computers, laptops, telephones, mobile phones, iPad, tablets and more.

Paying for a repair before considering replacing: Paying for a repair could save you hundreds of pounds. With thanks to the internet, you can sometimes diagnose what’s wrong with your TV or laptop before throwing it away, meaning that a lot of problems are usually fixable.

Alternative uses for an old laptop

Convert It into a Gaming Server: If your old laptop is still working, you could convert it into a gaming server. Usually, when you’re playing multiplayer games online, you connect to a server managed by the game manufacturer, which handles connections with other players.

Use It as an External Monitor Screen: This could be useful if you’re writing a report or essay and you need to look at references and information on another screen constantly.

Cameras

There is a large, robust market for second-hand camera recycling and re-use. If the camera is still in working order, somebody will find a use for it.

Sell: There are also several websites where you can sell your camera online in the same way you can sell your mobile phone. Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Depop are good places for selling cameras.

Donate: Many high street charity shops sell old cameras. Additionally, places like The Camera Amnesty is a project that asks for donations of old photography equipment to help homeless people keep and improve their creative skills.

Offer it to a local recycling group: You can easily Google where your local recycling group is.

Earphones and Phone Chargers

It is the same with both phone chargers and earphones; a lot of wastage comes from breaking or simply losing them when going away and on public transport. Chargers alone are estimated to pile up to 11,000 tons of e-waste every year, which has vast negative connotations in terms of sustainability.

Retail drops off: Some companies offer a free recycling program in store, such as Currys. They accept everything, whether bought from Currys or somewhere else. Fixing minor cosmetic faults: For earphones, you can find tutorials on how to fix different types of earphones and headphones. It’s good to try these tips out before opting to buy new ones.

Denise Timmis, Brand Manager at Envirofone, said: “Global Recycling Day is a reminder of the growing number of people looking for alternatives to buying new, alongside the hyperawareness of our climate footprint, and looking for ways to reduce it. Whether that’s donating items to charity, buying second hand, fixing things yourself, or even just simply learning how to recycle specific items properly, all these small things can make a significant impact in the long haul.

Additionally, businesses like ours play a vital role in this change, where customers can trade in unwanted items for cash and buy refurbed electronics such as phones and laptops.  Not only can people make and save money from changing their buying habits, but the environmental benefits of doing so are undoubtedly a bonus.”