Recycling Old Electronics

Recycling Old Electronics

Are you struggling with knowing what to do with your old electronics?

Our professional organizers find that many people (even ourselves at times!) end up with an old electronics graveyard. After all, most of us feel our plates are full enough without having to figure out what to do with all that abandoned hardware.

Because we aren’t sure how to get rid of them, we stash them and just learn to deal with the clutter.

To help people solve this problem, I spoke with Peter Van Houten, President of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) on a segment for More Good Day Oregon.

Peter shared three main reasons why people hoard their old electronics:

  1. They don’t have time to deal with them. (The solution to this objection is to simply get it done. I wish there were a silver bullet to this problem, but really, this objection is related to #2 and #3 below. We “awfulize” the stuff we are not good at, and we put it off indefinitely. This objection will disappear once you figure out where and how to part with them.)
  1. They don’t know where to take them. (This objection is demystified below.)
  1. They fear identity theft (Once you destroy the chips or hard drives of your devices, you will have eliminated the possibility of your personal data being breached.)

So, let’s get right to it. It’s pretty simple. There are only two steps to recycling your old electronics:

  1. Sort your electronics into:
    • Monitors, Printers, Computers Peripherals, Electrical Cords (no personal data on-board)
    • Hard drives, Laptops, Cell Phones (containing personal data)

Recycling Old Electronics cords

  1. Research where to take items (in many states it is illegal to throw away or curbside recycle electronics)
    • If you’re in Oregon, go to Oregon E-cycles website and search for the type of items you are looking to recycle. It will list companies in your area that accept that type of material.
    • Monitors, Printers, Computer Peripherals, Electrical Cords and anything else that doesn’t have personal data can be taken to Goodwill where it will be processed and recycled.
    • For Hard Drives, Laptops, and Cell Phones, or anything else containing personal data remove the hard drives or chips and destroy them. The rest of the components can be taken to a recycling center. Some even will pay you for your goods!

Recycling Old Electronics Circuit Board

Practical and easy, right?

Don’t let electronics clutter hog up increasing real estate in your storage areas. Join the recycling revolution by getting rid of the relics that are clogging up your spaces. The time invested in figuring out where to take your electronics and removing personal data will be worth the peace of mind (and extra space!) that follows.

For more recycling resources in the Portland Metro Area, check out our Life Simplifying Services page under Recycling.

Watch our segment from More Good Day Oregon and learn how to remove your personal data from your devices:

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