What to do with electronic waste?: Tips for disposal of computers, mobile phones etc.

Electronic waste collects in many households. You can easily recycle it.

Where should you dispose of your electronic waste? Christmas is approaching and the amount of electronic waste will increase in many households. This is because people will hope to be getting a new smartphone, PC or laptop under the tree. And who wouldn’t be happy about that!

But what do you do with your old mobile phone, tablet or computer? We will help you answer this question.

Dispose of electronic waste properly

There are different ways to dispose of your electronic waste properly and sensibly. Computers should not be thrown into the household waste, but should be dropped off at a recycling yard.

Europeans dispose of about 40 million tonnes of electronic waste every year. However, much of what we throw away is not actually rubbish. With electronic devices, we not only dispose of valuable resources such as precious metals – gold, palladium, silver and rare metals. But also toxic substances such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium or beryllium.

And that has serious consequences for the environment. Frequently in poorer countries, electrical waste ends up on wildlife as landfills. For this reason, a European law has been in place for over a year, which requires retailers and distributors to provide a ‘take back’ service when they sell new electrical equipment. The purpose of the Act is to prevent the illegal transfer of old equipment to poorer countries. But does the return work?

Tips for the supply of mobile phone and Co

  1. Disposing of old equipment in the trade is quite simple. Both local and online retailers with more than 400 square meters of sales space need to take back small appliances. Even if you did not buy the device in the store. So you do not need a receipt. The only restriction: If the device is longer than 25 centimeters on one side, such as the unloved old monitor, the dealers only have to accept the device if a new one is purchased.
  2. A further possibility of disposal is the Distributor Take Back Scheme. Retailers become exempt from offering in-store take back by joining the UK’s only DTS. In many cases this will provide a practical and cost effective alternative by financially contributing toward the provision of the WEEE  (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment).
  3. Take your item to your local recycling centre – you can easily locate your nearest centre on the Recycle Now website. Collection facilities by Local Authorities at recycling centres. Some councils offer a household recycling collection service for small electrical items; contact your local authority for more details.
  4. Another way to dispose of your electronic waste is to donate it. But this only applies to functional waste equipment. There are non-profit associations such as the Digital Helpers who pass screened computers to people in need. Or there are many charities that you can donate your old mobile phone to. Search ‘Donate old mobile phones’ and choose your favourite charity.


Remember to delete data on waste electrical items

One thing you should definitely consider before donating your device, no matter what it is. You must delete all data.