While all good things must come to an end, the end may not necessarily be in sight for those hard-working electronics we’ve often dropped, cracked, or drizzled with Seattle’s very best—coffee and/or rain! Rather than console yourself with a new console, take a look at the alternatives before opting to use your re-purchasing power. Chances are there may be a second chance for our hard-wiring—both electronic and human, and a fix that helps the environment, the pocketbook, and our immediate needs!
Before you take off for your nearest dealer or repair store and shell out the dough to have someone else take a look, check the pages of ifixit and see if you can do it yourself. From game consoles to appliances, cell phones to camera repairs, there are over a thousand manuals personalized for your electronic device with visual step-by-step tutorials that will help you repair electronics at little to no cost!
Not the DIY type? Electronic repair shops are popping up all over the place and can usually fix common issues (like that cracked screen) as soon as same day for much less than the cost of a new phone.
Device beyond repair? Create a new use for your electronics with a DIY project! Bracelets, lamps, planters, or speakers are just a sampling of the many unique ways you can reuse your unwanted electronics. Make it an afternoon of fun for the family with these creative tutorials on how to breath new life into old or broken electronics.
Electronic equipment may contain lead, mercury, cadmium, flame retardants or other toxic materials and as such are prohibited from being disposed of in the garbage in King County. Take It Back Network recyclers accept a variety of equipment for safe recycling, or you can give your electronics a new life by donating them to local non-profit InterConnection, who will repair the item and give it back to communities in need. InterConnection has many drop-off locations throughout King County, including the CleanScapes Store in Issaquah. Some retailers, such as Best Buy, Staples and Radio Shack, offer monetary incentives to trade in your old electronics for new ones. If your device has no trade-in value, these locations will recycle it for free. If your cell phone has called it quits AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and other cell phone providers have cell phone recycling at their stores.
According to the EPA, an estimated 438 million electronics were sold in 2009, while only 25% electronics were collected for recycling. It is actually 20 times more energy efficient to refurbish electronics than to recycle them.