Can phone chargers be recycled?

In this article, we discuss what to do with old phone and laptop chargers, and how to recycle them.

Can phone chargers be recycled?

Yes, phone chargers can be recycled quite easily at your curbside recycling.

Recycling phone chargers

Pure copper wire can be sold for salvage once it has been separated from the sheath. It won’t be worth much, but you can at least get some money from old wires that you won’t be using again.

Your copper-cored wires, as well as most of your tiny gadgets and other wires and cables, will be accepted at any metal recycling facility. Your old devices can also be sold or recycled.

What is e-waste and why should you recycle it?

Electronic items are being purchased in greater numbers than ever before. Every day, newer, quicker technology is released, requiring electrical equipment to be upgraded on a regular basis.

This implies that laptops, cellphones, and gaming systems that are no longer in use are regularly dumped. Electronic rubbish, sometimes known as e-waste, is the word used to characterise these now-unwanted electronic items.

Electronic waste, or simply e-waste, is discarded electronics that have the potential to harm our environment if improperly disposed of.

Additionally, it should also be emphasised that electronic waste is one of the fastest increasing components of our nation’s waste stream. 

Any electronic item that is damaged, can no longer be utilised, or has become old or obsolete is included in this category.

And in an era where technology is improving nearly every electronic gadget that people own, we know that the number of devices we trash each year will continue to rise.

In New York, it is strictly prohibited to discard gadgets that contain certain ecologically hazardous elements. 

Flat-screen televisions, monitors, computers, laptops, mouse, keyboards, mini servers, printers and scanners, tablets, MP3 players, VCRs, DVD players, and other electronic devices are included.

Cell phones, smartphones, pagers, stereos, radios, landline telephones, cameras, and CD players are all examples of e-waste.

All smart gadgets, from iPhones to iPads, Apple Watches, Fitbits, Kindles, Nooks, and Amazon Fire Tablets; Virtual Reality (VR) gear; Virtual Assistants; Electric scooters; and more have recently been added to the list as electronics makers become more sophisticated.

You can bet that as soon as a new device is produced, a new and even more inventive model will be released within months, compelling us to replace the now-outdated version.

Recycling steps

The recycling process has three phases that repeat themselves again and over. This is also the reason behind the recycling symbol’s three recognisable arrows.

These arrows represent:

  • Collecting and processing
  • Manufacturing
  • Selling/ buying new products

We shall discuss these in more detail.

Collecting and processing

Collecting and analysing data is the initial stage in the entire process. Materials can be collected in a variety of methods, including curbside pickup, reimbursement programmes, and recycling drop-off locations.

After the items have been gathered, they are taken to recycling centres. At these facilities, a number of things take place. The recyclables are sorted and cleaned after that.

Finally, the depots transform them into new materials that may be used to create a variety of commodities and products. After the resources have been processed, they are sold to other businesses and industries for use in their products.

Manufacturing

Collecting and processing is the first step in the entire process. Materials can be collected in a variety of methods, including curbside pickup, reimbursement programmes, and recycling drop-off locations.

After the items have been gathered, they are taken to recycling centres. At these facilities, a number of things take place. The recyclables are sorted and cleaned after that. 

Finally, the depots transform them into new materials that may be used to create a variety of commodities and products. After the resources have been processed, they are sold to other businesses and industries for use in their products.

Selling/buying new products

Finally, products made from recycled materials are sold and purchased in the third step. Consumers must continue to buy recycled things in order for the recycling loop to continue.

There are numerous goods in the store that contain recycled materials that you may purchase. The words recycled-content product, recyclable product, and post-consumer material appear on many things.

Advantages of recycling e-waste

There are certain advantages associated with recycling e-waste which is crucial for the environment as well. Some of these advantages are:

  • Prevents toxic hazards
  • Allows us to reuse materials
  • Takes care of the environment

We shall discuss these in more detail.

Prevents toxic hazards

If not properly disposed of, e-waste can include toxic compounds such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, which can pollute the environment.

When e-waste is disposed of in landfills, hazardous chemicals can leak into soil and rivers, harming populations and the environment, as the Minamata tragedy demonstrated.

Even trace amounts of these harmful elements might create difficulties, but the situation becomes considerably more serious when millions of e-waste devices are deposited in landfills.

Recycling can securely remove mercury and other hazardous compounds from e-waste, keeping them from ending up in landfills and damaging the environment.

Allows us to reuse materials

E-waste contains valuable metals and materials that may be utilised in the manufacture of your next smartphone or tablet.

When e-waste is recycled, tin, nickel, zinc, aluminium, copper, silver, gold, and plastic may all be recovered.

Many of these non-renewable resources, on the other hand, may never be utilised again if they are tossed in the trash and wind up in landfill.

Recycling e-waste keeps finite resources out of landfills and puts them to use in new products, minimising our reliance on new materials.

Takes care of the environment

We are all responsible for environmental protection, and one of the simplest ways to do so is to reduce the amount of e-waste that ends up in landfills.

According to the Global E-waste Monitor 2017, around 44.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste were created globally in 2016, with just 20% being collected and repurposed.

On top of all the other garbage that ends up in landfill, there’s a lot of electrical gadgets, white goods, and machinery.

How to dispose of old chargers

There are plenty of options to dispose of your old chargers in a safe manner. Some of these are:

  • Best Buy
  • Give to a Friend or a Family Member
  • Donate to STEM programs

We shall discuss these options in more detail below.

Best Buy

Best Buy accepts old electronic appliances for recycling. Best Buy has voluntarily run the United States’ most extensive e-waste recycling operation since 2009. 

They are still the only national shop to offer this service, making them an industry leader. They are entirely devoted to serving as a handy local option for customers looking to get rid of their old gadgets and appliances properly.

Best Buy will make modifications from time to time to guarantee the service’s long-term viability, such as charging fees to recycle specific goods for which recycling prices have skyrocketed.

They continue to collaborate closely with the consumer electronics sector to develop more and better recycling solutions for the time being.

Give to a Friend or a Family Member

STEM (Science, Equipment, Engineering, and Mathematics) programmes and projects are common in schools and many non-profits, and they frequently utilise outdated technology. 

It’s possible that your old cable cables, chargers, and wires are still useful for educational purposes. Even if all you have is an old power cord or an Ethernet cable that isn’t nearly long enough, these programmes welcome electronic donations.

Donate to STEM programs

Computers and other technological devices are not always upgraded as soon as they should be. So, before you throw away a mountain of cables and chargers, see whether your friends and family can use them.

Furthermore, most home entertainment cords and cables may be used with other devices, with the exception of specific Apple items. As a result, before giving them, make sure they work properly.

Salvaging


Pure copper wire may be sold for scrap if it is stripped from the sheath. You won’t earn a fortune, but you might be able to make some money from obsolete wires that you won’t use again.

Donate to WeeeCharity

WeeeCharity is dedicated to safely recycling e-waste in the United Kingdom. Use this online form to schedule a collection of any sort of electronic trash.

Computers, laptops, cellphones, cell phones, iPads, tablets, a variety of components, cables, and much more are all accepted.

Conclusion

Companies who have chargers and cables in their lost property should recycle their e-waste in a sustainable manner using the programmes listed above. Alternatively, look for comparable programmes in your area.

Individuals with outdated chargers and cords, on the other hand, should look for a local electronics store to drop them off at. Do your part to guarantee that less e-waste ends up in landfills, where it may harm our health and the environment.

FAQs

Does Best Buy still take old electronics?

With a few exceptions, Best Buy accepts most gadgets and major appliances. More information about recycling limits for individual goods in your state may be found on the Electronics and Appliances Recycling main page of their website.

Best Buy’s voluntary in-store and online recycling programmes do not accept any goods that have been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Does Best Buy charge for recycling electronics?

Best buy charges a nominal fee for recycling certain electronics. For the rest, recycling is absolutely free of cost and hassle-free.

People can recycle up to 3 electronic appliances per day at the nearest Best Buy store. It is recommended that you check their website in order to assess which devices can be recycled for free.

Can you throw chargers in the bin?

WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) should not be thrown away in your regular trash. Because electrical equipment frequently includes dangerous compounds, it must be collected and recycled separately.

What are some disadvantages of recycling?


The disadvantages associated with recycling are:

  • More pollution and energy consumption.
  • Result in pollutants.
  • Increased processing cost and low-quality jobs.
  • Require stricter and more stringent implementation.
  • Good products are not guaranteed.
  • Generally ineffective.

What is reuse and how is it different?

Reusing is the process of finding new uses for old items that would otherwise be discarded. Fixing, renovating, redecorating, or modifying an object in some manner to improve it or give it a new use are all examples of this.

In a nutshell, reuse is the process of repurposing an outdated object. You aren’t discarding anything, deconstructing anything, or repurposing it into something new. Simply said, you’re taking an object and altering how you utilise it.

References

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