The Simple Solution to E-Waste That Nobody Talks About

In today’s world of tech-savvy, many of us only use electronic devices for a few years before replacing them with faster, more advanced options. However, our increasing dependence on electronics has had unintended consequences: an increase in electronic waste.

Electronic waste (also referred to as e-waste or e-scrap) can be described as discarded, obsolete, or damaged electronic products that require either electricity or batteries to run. The growth rate of e-waste is reported to be three times higher than that of other urban waste. In addition to being the fastest growing waste stream globally, e-waste also contains some of the most harmful toxins for humans. To make matters worse, there are currently no federal regulations to solve this problem. Although there are some countries that are environmentally conscious, creating incentives for businesses to perform garbage cleaning services including recycling. These waste experts like specialise in recycling e-waste, leaving the smallest possible environmental footprint.

The Simple Solution to E-Waste That Nobody Talks About


Since 2007, 7.1 billion smartphones have been produced. Although this is enough to provide a phone for everyone on the planet, production is higher than ever and can meet the market demand for newer and shinier models. So when you trade in the old, the overall lifespan of the iPhone is about two years.

But once all the phones are quickly replaced, where do they go? According to the Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability data, only 16% of electronic waste is recycled. Many phones end up making it to landfills, but heavy metals may seep into groundwater. Due to fast turnover and minimal recycling, e-waste has quickly become an environmental issue. And this issue tends to spike, especially when Apple announces new models. Fortunately, as responsible residents of this planet, there are few options we can choose to play our part in reducing the overall electronic waste and becoming greener. Here are five ways to limit your e-waste:

Be Conscious When Shopping for Electronics

Believe it or not, you can reduce electronic waste from the get-go. This can be done by focusing on reducing the number of electronics purchased.  However, if you’re a tech-savvy person and need to get your hands on various electronic products, buying second-hand items is a great alternative and much greener.

Another way of limiting your consumption of electronic devices is to learn to fix them yourself. While this may seem like a difficult feat to conquer, several helpful videos online make it much easier to deal with the problem yourself.

Sell It or Trade-In

This is perhaps the most preferred way of minimizing e-waste. Since newer, more efficient versions of devices come out almost every year, you can either sell or trade your current device. Mobile phones rank high on the list of devices that have recently been contributing to the electronic waste epidemic.

Several big mobile brands offer a trade-in option to their consumers. Apple, for example, has a Trade-In program where you can exchange your device for instant credit against your new device or have it added to your Apple Gift Card.

Then there’s the option of buy-back stores. Stores such as Target, Best Buy, Walmart, and many others offer their customers the opportunity to return phones or other electronic devices in exchange for credit. Target even takes back damaged phones, although you may not get much for them in return.

However, you can also roll up your sleeves and try to sell the device yourself. This option is not as hard as it may sound as several websites, such as eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace can be used to sell your phone. You can even compare the prices of mobile recyclers to get the best deal.

Apart from that, you could always sell your phone back to your wireless carrier that may even offer a trade-in alternative. Carriers like AT&T and Sprint offer programs where you can apply the value of your trade-in phone towards your bill.

Time to Upcycle Your Old iPhone

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Photo by Gabriel Freytez

Recycling old phones is another excellent option rather than throwing away the device in a drawer or trash can to rust away. The beauty of smartphones is that they don’t necessarily require cellular service to be helpful. For example, you can turn your old phone into another music device and transfer music via Wi-Fi.

Another helpful option to save money is to turn a mobile phone into a gift for children who can play. Finding other uses for older phones can extend its lifespan and serve as a backup phone if the new phone is accidentally damaged or lost.

Move To The Cloud

Cloud storage has become one of the most convenient and efficient ways of storing data. Cloud Storage does not require any hard disk or flash drive to access or view your data since all of it is done online.

There is no need to buy a large server or heavy-duty machines for either work or personal storage. Services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Amazon’s AWS cloud could be great for backing up and syncing your files across multiple devices without having to invest in a server.

However, if you plan to download any files or data, you will need a storage device or download the data to the device. But if you want to browse data, it won’t take up any space on your device. The critical thing to note is that using cloud storage will limit the requirement for additional storage devices.

Participate In E-Waste Charity Fundraisers

Local service organizations and non-profit organizations (such as schools, churches, and scout organizations) may often schedule e-waste collection days. These organizations tend to charge a small fee to collect your e-waste, ensure that it is recycled and reused, and use the fees collected to support their activities.

Hence, by participating and giving way, you will not only get rid of any obsolete electronic devices at home but contribute to better e-waste management.

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16 thoughts on “The Simple Solution to E-Waste That Nobody Talks About”

  1. I was actually at the beach this weekend and saw so much plastic/waste on the shore, walkways. It hurt me so much. We need to protect our planet and understand the best ways to help save mother Earth.

    • Yes exactly, I was only saying to my husband at the weekend how sad it makes me to see so many face masks lying around now too. As if we didn’t already have enough waste on the streets and beaches.

  2. Definitely a good point about how much waste there is! Electronics and appliances really aren’t designed for long term use any more, and get outdated so quickly!

  3. We always purchase refurbished phones, as they often work exactly the same as new phones, but feel like a better deal and a better effect on the environment! Recycling phones and electronics are a really good shout, people tend to just hold onto them!

  4. These are all great suggestions! All of my old phones are sitting in a drawer. Going to look for an e-waste collection near me!

  5. I love upcycling my old phones. They come in handy when my little one wants to use my phone and I can just give him the old one.

    • Haha yes I have done this in the past too. My daughter gets a new phone for her birthday next week and my son is due his ‘first’ phone so he is getting her old one whilst he proves he is capable of taking care of one 🙂

  6. Thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention. A lot of time no one even thinks about how to dispose of electronics safely. Very important to share1

    • It’s something I realised myself when we recently replaced our kids outdated tablets and I realised I was just keeping them all in an old drawer and didn’t know what to do with them. Now I do 🙂

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