Game Over: When Do My Electronics Need Recycling?

“There are only two things certain in this life: death, and taxes.” You’ve probably experienced taxes with each product you buy or paycheque you earn. Hopefully, you haven’t had to deal with too much of the former category. However, when it comes to your electronics and technological devices, this saying often comes to mind. Too often, people get excited about a new device or a piece of technology, only to find months or years down the road that it’s fizzled out. It simply won’t turn on, or it’s corrupted, or the data that you’ve come to rely on is gone. It’s a painful moment in many people’s lives, as trivial as it sounds – we come to rely on our electronics. Students need their laptops in order to pass their classes, professionals keep their schedules on tablets and phones, and people keep in touch with loved ones through the apps on their phone. But luckily, there are two things you can do to ease the passing of your most loved devices. First of all, when a device finally passes away, you can sell it for electronic scrap, which will allow you to move on – possibly to another device that fills the same function. Secondly, you can take a look at the lifespan for various common devices (as well as ‘x’ factors that can complicate things) and understand what the life expectancy for your devices are. If you carry both of these out, you’ll find things get much easier. Here’s what the average lifespan of many common electronics are, and why electronic recycling is a fantastic option.

Why Canadians Should Aim For The “Just Right” Time to Recycle

Remember the tale of Goldilocks? The first porridge she tried was too hot. The second one was too cold. But the third one was just right. Canadians often go through something similar with their popular electronic devices. For instance, sometimes a device bugs out or won’t turn on but it can be saved through a common fix. However, people may not be aware of what they need to do in order to save the device, or are reluctant to take it to professionals. This means that they end up recycling a device that could have been saved, costing them money as well as time and stress. Other people tend to hang onto a device for far too long, until the electronic scrap within is outdated and the thing is a decade out of date. Clearly, finding a happy medium is important when it comes to moving onto a new device.

One Factor That Dramatically Reduces Lifespans

There are some surprising factors that can affect how long tech lasts. For instance, the generation is a huge factor. When a device first hits the market, you’re probably eager to get your hands on it – a great example would be the new Apple Smartwatch. It’s new, it’s revolutionary, and it’s something unlike anything you’ve seen before. But first generation pieces of technology like this often have major issues that later iterations lack. For instance, video game consoles are infamous for often dying on the first generation, as seen with the Xbox 360’s “red ring of death” that plagued gamers. The Apple Smartwatch, surprisingly enough, has connectivity issues if someone has a sleeve tattoo. Or perhaps the first-gen piece of software just doesn’t live up to the potential you were hoping for. By waiting on revolutionary tech and letting the early adopters weed out these issues, you can get a piece of technology that lasts longer and has a better lifespan. Remember, if you want to be an early adopter and you find a device failing, you can always save some of the money you spent by trading it in for electronic scrap.

A Loose Timeline of Upgrading Electronic Devices

Here are some common timelines for devices people use in their day to day lives. These are not a ‘universal’ metric, as there are so many different models, preferences, etc. This just happens to be what the average cycle of Canadians upgrading their devices tends to look like:

Desktop PCs meant for purposes like hardcore gaming or intensive art and design tend to be upgraded every 3-4 years (although sometimes people will do a ‘part by part’ replacement, such as one piece here, one piece there).

Gaming consoles have a very long lifespan – as long as there’s no mechanical failure, they last for at least a decade, and many gamers like to keep them around for even longer.

Smartphone’s and tablets tend to have an upgrade cycle of about 3-5 years, depending on the model and the usage.

Newer pieces of technology like Smartwatches? The jury’s still out.

Finally, remember that just because there’s a broken screen or a technical failure, that doesn’t make the device useless. It can still harbor valuable electronic scrap, and shouldn’t be tossed!

If you’re wondering about your electronic scrap that’s in devices such as a Smartphone, laptop, or gaming console, wonder no longer. EDI Refining is able to recycle these devices in a safe manner that benefits both you and the environment. For more information about our services and e-recycling programs, give us a call at 1 866 688 3353 and we’ll be happy to help you.