With the frenzied holiday season upon us, chances are many of us will either be buying or receiving some type of electronic gadget or gizmo this year (but good on ya if you're only giving old school gifts that don't require batteries, a cord, or being connected to the internet to use).
So after you open the wrapping on that new device and study the user manual for a bit, you might want to give some thought to what you're going to do with those other old or obsolete widgets that tend to collect in the back of the closet or the bottom drawer of your desk. After all, they aren't going to biodegrade or go in the compost pile, and they're made with precious resources (many of which are toxic to the environment when disposed of incorrectly), so you may want to do your part to minimize the mountains of e-waste that are generated every single day of the year.
To that end, a new public awareness initiative, called Project Reboot, can help to encourage and increase the safe and secure recycling of our household electronics, by offering recycling and reuse tips and information on how and where to safely recycle our gadgets and gizmos.
"People too often clamor for the latest technology with little knowledge of how to responsibly recycle the gadgets they are replacing. The goal of this initiative is to educate people on the environmental, economic, and social responsibility of proper electronics recycling, and ultimately to increase the rate over the coming year." - Robin Wiener, president of ISRI
According to Project Reboot, only 25% of eligible household electronics get recycled, which leaves a whole lotta e-waste behind (about 3.5 million tons annually!). The initiative, which is a joint partnership with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and Earth911, can make it simpler to find out where to recycle electronics, how to remove your personal data from those devices before recycling them, and encourages users to sign an Electronics Recycling Pledge to commit to recycling their used gadgets. In addition, the campaign urges people to educate and encourage their friends and families to also dispose of their electronics responsibly, and is currently running a Cell Phone Recycling Awareness poster and video contest for students (K-12).
We've come a long way in our efforts and capabilities to recycle a wide variety of materials, as the below video shows, but we've still got a lot of work to do when it comes to the high-tech stuff we all know and love.
Find out more about Project Reboot.