Ray Terry, our host here at About Your House Radio, is always talking about deconstructing machines and (hopefully!) learning how they go back together. Well, that is no longer the case with newer electronics, and even the new versions of the classics. There are heavy metals that can be toxic if exposed to your lungs and skin, as well as tiny amounts of valuable metals- like gold, platinum, coltan, copper- that are mined resources. By recycling our electronics, we can reduce the amount of toxic waste in landfills while we reduce the need for toxic mining practices. 

A mobile phone can contain 40-60 elements, not including the water and energy resources needed to create those materials and the actual construction of the phone. Electronics are very energy dependent, and with the rate of obsolescence speeding up, we need to make sure we are utilizing our resources well. 

One way to maximize your resources is to maintain the machinery, extending the life of your electronics. Examples:

  • Vacuum off the coils and the grill underneath your refrigerator.
  • Gently vacuum the fan grate on the back of your computer.
  • Clean your dryer vent. (Seriously, y’all, it can be life or death AND it saves the motor of your dryer.)
  • Unplug your computer when it is not in use.

But if it is time for a new thingamajig, please make sure that you are disposing of your old one responsibly. Some machinery can be recycled at the Full Service Recycling Centers of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County (free for residents, and visitors for a fee). But some electronics are not accepted there, and we actually need to handle them a bit differently.

All-Green Recycling is a local B-Corp that specializes in electronic recycling, working to reduce toxic landfill waste in Charlotte, NC and New Jersey. They deal with electronic waste on any scale, for residents and businesses alike, even including medical equipment and entire office networks. The materials are safely deconstructed and recycled, with focused attention and energy on keeping their employees and the environment healthy. For the customer’s security and protection, they “wipe and shred” hard drives (and give you a certificate of destruction if you want it) and they have developed technology to extract those heavy metals that can be reused in future electronics! 

On the October 13th, 2018 show, we will be talking with Carol Jegou, founder and owner of All-Green Recycling, about how a past in construction shaped her future in recycling.

We will also share it out on our SoundCloud page after the LIVE broadcast.

Now, get out there and share some love!