Saturday, February 4, 2012

What should I do with my old electronics?

Students these days go through electronics like packages of Ramen noodle. One year our iPod is the hottest thing, next year it seems to be visually outdated by a decade. But what exactly do we do with these old electronic devices?

Since January 1, Illinois has enacted a law that could make it illegal to throw our old computers or iPods in the garbage can. The law also requires companies, like Apple or HP, to provide a way for proper disposal of the devices they sell. To make this law a little more real, if caught improperly disposing an electronic device, you can be fined up to $10,000. That means goodbye junior year of college!

Sending a device back to a company is a hassle - sometimes we don't have time or patience to send packages. What do we do with our old computer monitors or mice? One way is to make some dough (my favorite option)!  Some stores or websites, like Best Buy or Target, will pay you in gift cards or cash for your used device. The only down side is if your device is seriously messed up by you dropping it or some other factor,  your gift card value will decrease more and more. These companies then sell the used device again or properly recycle it.

Currently, there is no way to properly dispose of personal electronics on campus. Although the university population is predominantly made of commuters, this poses a problem for on-campus students. Perhaps UIC should implement a service that lets you recycle your old electronics? Is recycling electronics a big deal on campus for students?

Do you have any ideas on how the school could do this? Share them in the comments section!

Here's a detailed list of what you cannot throw in the garbage:

Computers ( laptop, notebook, netbook, tablet, desktop )
Electronic Keyboards
Facsimile Machines
Videocassette Recorders
Portable Digital Music Players
Digital Video Disc Players
Video Game Consoles
Small Scale Servers
Electronic Mice
Digital Converter Boxes
Cable Receivers
Satellite Receivers
Digital Video Disc Recorders

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