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Feds Say, Save a Life: Recycle That Gadget!

Feds Say, Save a Life: Recycle That Gadget!

After two long years, it’s time to upgrade your smartphone–hooray! There are new features, apps, and functions to explore, and once again you’re amazed by all that technology can do these days. But wait! All is not as happy as it might seem. Before you can celebrate your new gadget, it’s important to think about what will become of the old one.

The decision of how to dispose of old electronics is difficult with just one or two devices. Now imagine that you had thousands to take care of. That’s the conundrum that faces every single government agency. It’s also why the U.S.  General Services Administration (GSA) recently proposed an aggressive new policy that will drastically reduce the approximately 2.4 million tons of electronic waste generated by government agencies every year.

“Transparency and accountability are a crucial part of the regulation and a key focus of the plan,” reads the GSA blog. “GSA, working with other federal agencies, has put forth a policy that will include a requirement for agencies to submit data for all disposed electronics. We’ll start to more effectively account for every device leaving the government, and we’ll report that information to the public on Data.gov.”

The new rule would essentially forbid government agencies from sending any e-waste to incinerators or landfills. Instead, agencies with unwanted electronics would be required to ”offer unwanted electronic equipment to other federal government offices. Failing that, such products would then be donated to local and state governments, schools, or non-profits,” reports TriplePundit. If neither option pans out, government agencies will then be directed to seek out responsible companies that will buy back the gadgets in order to refurbish or recycle them.

These buyback programs will hardly make a dent in federal debt, but the hierarchy proposed by the GSA sets an important example that the rest of us can profit from as well.

Related: 4 Ways to Recycle Old Electronics

It may seem insignificant, but the momentary choice of what to do with an unwanted device or broken gadget creates a ripple-effect of environmental impacts that linger for decades. What will you choose: life or death?

Learn more in the infographic below:

Effects of Cell Phones on Human Health

Infographic via eCycleBest.com

Read more: Do Good, Eco-friendly tips, Green, Technology, , , , , , , , , , ,

Image via Thinkstock

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Beth Buczynski

Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog or check out her blog.

66 comments

+ add your own
2:53AM PDT on Aug 26, 2014

I'm all for recycling - any and everything!!

11:15AM PDT on Jul 11, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

10:22PM PDT on Jun 22, 2014

We need to reuse, reduce and recycle anything and everything we can!!

10:22PM PDT on Jun 14, 2014

I am not amased about how much all thise "Things" are poluting our earth..

Big Companies keep coming up with new "models" and ppl. buy and throw the "old" Things away , No one think about sorting the reusable Things, or destroy all the dangerous Things in a safe way,
Ppl first react when they hear that the polution is High as Hell, because to many dont help to get thing "recykled".

I don´t know if i did understand this right, so maybe the answeer belong in another place. :-)

That what is happen when one cant sleep at night. Hihihi..

10:10PM PDT on Jun 14, 2014

TYFS.

11:15AM PDT on Jun 13, 2014

Critical that everyone know about this, excellent infographic. I agree that to reuse after being collected is the best solution. Important post. Thank you.

2:05AM PDT on Jun 13, 2014

Thanks for sharing

6:09PM PDT on Jun 11, 2014

ty

12:03PM PDT on Jun 11, 2014

Important infographic, thanks. We a a couple of great e-waste programs that pick up.

12:30PM PDT on Jun 8, 2014

Thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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