While recycling is an integral part of what we do here at SORT, there are two other elements that are key to tackling the issue of e-waste. Those are REDUCE and REUSE.
Reducing is simple. Next time you are thinking of buying a new phone, laptop, computer or television think twice about whether the one you already have really needs replacing. Do you have friends or family who could give you one they no longer use? Or can you offer your working electronic devices that are sitting around collecting dust to a friend who might need them?
Reusing is a little trickier. Many electronic devices are now manufactured in ways that prohibit us from repairing or upgrading them. These are the two key factors in re-using electronics and preventing them from becoming e-waste. In product design this is called ‘planned obsolescence’.
Planned obsolescence is a cunning way that manufacturers force us to replace old electronic goods rather than repairing or upgrading them with newer parts. So next time you are buying a new computer, laptop or television, try asking about the products ability to be upgraded, making it a focus of your choice in product.
Some companies such as a Google and Motorola are already tackling this issue with the creation of modular cellphones where individual parts can be upgraded when they become obsolete. If we show manufacturers that re-usability is a key selling point to us as consumers, then maybe we will be start to see a shift in how electronic products are designed.
And remember, no matter what, don’t let your e-waste end up in landfill. SORT will take your e-waste and recycle it!