Stash or Trash: What Electronics Should You Get Rid Of?

Posted on November 28, 2014 @ 3:30 PM EST

An overflow of old electronics means it’s time to throw them outLet’s say you walked into the house one day and saw your entire family seated in the living room. They’re staring at you silently, and your significant other or parents tell you it’s time for an intervention. In your case, it’s the fact that you’re a hoarder of electronics. “Some things will have to go,” they tell you. And now you’re stuck trying to figure out what gadgets you should throw out (or if you should even listen to them at all).

It’s not easy throwing electronics away, even when you know they’re outdated. You might feel an attachment to certain items, because of the nostalgia they bring to mind. However, looking at the issue from a different perspective may help you realize that you can’t go wrong by freeing up some space in your home. Not only will you have more room, but getting rid of things like electronic scrap can put some cash in your pockets as well. So don’t take offense if someone says you’re hoarding too much junk. Listening to them might work to your advantage.

Before You Proceed

As it was mentioned above, it’s not so easy to just throw things away, or else you’d have no problem doing so. A family member who complains, or the lack of mobility in a cluttered room adds to the pressure. That’s why you need to give it some thought first. You’ll want to ask yourself a few questions before tossing a device in the trash. After all, you don’t want to feel regretful later on because of throwing something away on impulse.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Is there something symbolic about this device? – Was it your first childhood game console? Is it a gadget you can show your kids as a relic? Depending on the device, you may want to keep it, regardless of its current worth. It may remind you of a time, memory, or achievement that you’ll want to occasionally revisit, so it wouldn’t hurt to keep the device in such instances.
  • Can it still serve a purpose? – Maybe you’ve got an old monitor or keyboard lying around, and a friend or relative needs such an item. Perhaps, they’re strapped for cash. In a case like this, you could come to their rescue if you have such accessories on hand. Generally speaking, this isn’t a big problem like it may have been in previous years, but some people may find themselves in situations where they’ll readily accept your second-hand items. So keep these ones in mind. Additionally, you may realize that an older yet functional device may still work for you, depending on your preferred activities.
  • Where might it end up? – You might scratch your head at why you should even ask this question. However, there are many good reasons for doing so. When you toss an electronic device, it doesn’t stay in some recycling or trash “oblivion”. It often gets picked up – by good or ill-natured individuals – or ends up in the environment. The end result of throwing away a device may affect you, other people, or animals in the long run if you aren’t careful. We’ll take a look at this point a bit later.

The above-mentioned list should serve as a kind of buffer. In other words, you may want to hold onto certain items if there’s a sentimental aspect to them. However, you’ll want to think objectively when looking at gadgets that take up space, and leave little impression on you.

Mobiles & Handhelds

Just about everyone has an obsession with mobile devices. Take a walk down the street or ride on a bus, and you’ll see tons of people, young and old, texting, chatting, and clicking away. However, mobile handheld devices are among the most short-lived electronics out there. You probably have some laying around in your house somewhere.

Devices You Can Recycle

  • PDA
  • Tablet
  • Cell phone/Smartphone
  • Handheld game console
  • MP3 player/iPod
  • Pager

Computers & Accessories

Just about everyone has old computer parts laying around somewhere. They’re most likely not as chic and powerful as what now sits in your home office or bedroom. Therefore, you might want to give some thought to these accessories, and how throwing them out might benefit you.

Devices You Can Recycle

  • Monitors
  • Laptops
  • Netbooks
  • Keyboards
  • Mouse
  • Printer/Copier/Fax Machine

Entertainment/Home Theatre

Got a big blocky T.V. sitting in the garage? Face it, you’re probably never going to use it, now that you’ve got a super sleek 52” smart T.V. in your living room. And those massive speakers? They can go too if you’ve replaced them with a more portable option.

Devices You Can Recycle

  • Televisions
  • Speakers
  • Amplifiers
  • Projector
  • Video Player (DVD, Blu-Ray)
  • Turntable

Others

There are some other gadgets that have now entered the “obsolete” realm. In other words, newer devices have replaced them. You’ve also got the devices that you probably kept for a particular hobby, but no longer use. These too can go if they no longer serve a purpose in your daily routine.

Devices You Can Recycle

  • Video Camera
  • Camera
  • Radio
  • Landline Phone
  • Typewriter (yup, people still have them!)
  • Modem
  • Electronic scrap (i.e. circuit boards)
  • Hard drives

Recycling Reminders

Throwing electronics into the garbage can put them in landfills, and thus, pollute the environmentProviding you have no attachment to your devices, you won’t find it difficult to throw your refuse away. However, there are things to consider when carrying out electronic recycling. It’s not just a matter of putting your e-waste into a bag and leaving it on the side of the road. There are regulations and advice to follow.

For example, never toss your electronics without having your hard drives wiped. Identity theft has risen exponentially for this very reason. Electronic scrap and waste can find it’s way into trafficking rings that bring items into other countries. When that happens, there are people who steal the information from the computers and phones they receive. Credit card numbers and passwords often end up in the hands of these criminals, and this trade is often the foundation for worldwide fraud.

Another thing you want to remember is the environment. Many electronic devices contain heavy metals such as cadmium, thallium. and lithium. Throwing these devices into the garbage can bring the items to landfills, resulting in the leakage of toxins into rivers and soil. And if you don’t think it’s a big deal, remember that such contamination can indirectly affect you. Therefore, it’s not just a matter of trying to be a hero. Make it your goal to recycle these items instead of putting them in the garbage.

Sayonara!

Rid yourself of e-waste to make yourself and your family happyCheck the basement or the garage- there’s a good chance you’ll have at least one or two of the items listed above. If you do, think carefully about what they’re doing for you. If they’re just taking up space, then there’s no need to have them laying around the house. They build clutter, infuriate family members, and may lead to a massive cleanup job you won’t want to deal with in the future. Therefore, make it a goal to throw away electronic scrap and gadgets you’re not using and have no attachment to. You can earn some change and get others off your back!

Looking for info about electronic recycling? Get in touch with us so we can help you!