There aren’t many local councils that are currently licensed to accept e-waste in the United Kingdom. When it comes time to get rid of your old computer, mobile phone, tablet, or television set, then you might be at a loss for how exactly to dispose of it. Unfortunately, the solution for so many of us is to put smaller electronic gadgets in the bin and allow it to be taken away with the regular weekly collection. This does solve the issue of “getting rid” of your old tech, but it creates an environmental issue further down the line as introducing toxic waste material that’s present in consumer electronics isn’t healthy for the natural world while it decomposes in the soil.
Fortunately, there is help at hand across the United Kingdom and you’ll be able to safely dispose of your old gadgets without making a serious impact on the environment. While it’s always good practice to keep your tech going for as long as possible, there will be times when it becomes all-too-obvious that it’s time to upgrade to something more modern in order to keep up with the demands of current technologies.
So, what are the best options you should consider?
- Consider Reselling
Your old gadgets likely still have some resale value depending on their age and popularity, so it makes perfect sense to compare reselling options. Using a comparison website like www.sellmyphone.co.uk will immediately reveal exactly what various recycling programs are paying for your gadget right now and you’ll be able to unlock the cash value of your phone or tablet right away. You’ll also be able to rest assured that your gadget is going to be responsibly recycled and have a useful life elsewhere rather than ending up in a local landfill.
WeeeCharity is one of the United Kingdom’s largest not-for-profit charities that accepts consumer electronics regardless of the condition. It is one of the very few charities around the country that will accept electronics of any age and they’re able to find useful applications for any technology it receives from donors. Donations may be redeployed in your local community to benefit a struggling family who isn’t able to afford the costs of modern technology at the moment; be donated to a school; or even resold to businesses or government services to continue a functional life elsewhere. WeeeCharity is run entirely by volunteers who are trained with valuable skills in electronic refurbishment and general ICT and these volunteers are often able to find paid employment upon leaving their positions in the charity.
WeeeCharity offers both a residential collection service nationwide and drop-offs at its headquarters in Liverpool. It should be considered a first point of contact when it comes time to dispose of e-waste because of the sheer convenience and knowledge that all electronics will be responsibly recycled and reconditioned prior to redeployment. WeeeCharity also offers a data wiping service, so those who aren’t as technology-minded will be able to relax knowing their personal data has been destroyed prior to leaving the charity’s facilities.
- Computers for Charities
Computers for Charities currently accepts desktop and laptop computers that meet at least “Core i3” specification. These are recent computers within the past decade, so if you’ve purchased a system within the past 10 years or so, then it will meet the charity’s guidelines. They will also accept any smartphone or tablet. The group works with charities around the world to offer disadvantaged communities access to modern ICT equipment. They also allow private purchases from schools, church groups, and the not-for-profit sector at very low prices.
While their core mission is admirable, it is only a worthwhile option for businesses as the charity is only able to arrange transportation for bulk collections rather than individual systems or components. It is certainly an option worth exploring if you have quite a bit of modern tech on your hands that needs to be disposed of, but the charity is currently seeking partial van loads’ worth of equipment. Smaller donations can be dropped off at their Sussex workshop by prior arrangement.
- Computer Aid International
Computer Aid International is another group that deals with disadvantaged communities around the world, but is able to accept older technology and electronics for redeployment. They are able to accept donations at their offices in London and Manchester, but are unfortunately unable to arrange transportation for residential donors at this time. Collection services are strictly limited to bulk collections from large businesses or providers.
With so many options on the market today, it should be clear that you shouldn’t be throwing your electronics in the bin. It’s important to do the right thing by our planet to help provide it with a greener future. By choosing from the ethical recycling programs outlined above you ensure electronics will have a functional life elsewhere without severely impacting on the earth around us.