Holiday electronics recycling

Michael W. Freeman is a veteran journalist, playwright and author. Born and raised in Fall River, Massachusetts, he has lived in Orlando since 2002. Michael has worked for some of Florida's largest newspapers, including The Orlando Sentinel. His original plays have draw strong audiences at the Orlando Fringe Festival. He is the author of the novels "Bloody Rabbit" and "Koby's New Home."

We’re about to hit October, folks. That means the holiday season is on the fast track to take over our lives once again.

The holidays are fast approaching, and they’ll be here sooner than you think. Now is when folks start planning their holiday travels, gearing up for family reunions, and marking on the calendar when their office parties and special Christmas events are going to be held.

And come Thanksgiving, we know what else it means: massive sales at big box stores and other retail outlets. The long lines at the cash registers are the bad news, but the fact that prices get marked down – sometimes way down – lures us in. And in shopping plazas around the country, we know literally millions get lured in.

We can also expect to see a big spike in online sales as well, as a fast-growing number of Millennials and Gen Xers shop online from the comfort and convenience of their own home. E-commerce is soaring.

A top item this year will no doubt be electronics. It’s possible some holiday shopping lists will be devoted entirely to these devices.

As consumers start jotting down a list of the electronic deals they’ll be shopping for this holiday season, it’s worth taking a moment to also think about something else: what happens to all the older versions of the electronics that you already own.

You know, the ones you get rid of once you’ve unwrapped the new one.

If you’re like most people, you either toss the old devices into a desk drawer or just throw it away.
Neither one is a good idea.

And if you haven’t thought about it yet, now is the time to start thinking about making a commitment to doing something else with your old electronics: recycling them.

 

How Many Electronics Will Get Sold on Black Friday deals?

Electronics are always a popular category around the holiday shopping season. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other big shopping dates bring consumers out in droves, well aware these devices will be sold at deeply discounted prices around this time of year. Price tag paradise.

Expect those electronic devices to get some cushy markdowns in the coming weeks, on everything from cameras to headphones, Bluetooth speakers, fitness trackers, smartwatches and a host of other devices.

There are already expected to be big discounts on items ranging from 70-inch 4K smart TV from Sony, the Apple Watch Series 1 models, a Vizio sound bar, a Microsoft Xbox One S 500GB Madden NFL 18 Bundle with free wireless controller, Sony PlayStation 4 1 TB Console, Dyson V6 Animal Bagless Cordless Stick Vacuum, and plenty more. It’s worth keeping in mind that prices are only good while supplies last.

For a lot of the big box retailers, the holiday shopping season is going to be their biggest and most profitable time of the year, so they’re doing everything they can to get the customers in the doors.

Holiday electronics shopping
The holidays are a big time for the sales of electronics. But do we remember to recycle the old ones?

In fact, there are even shopping apps available this year to help guide consumers. Sites like Paribus, Earny and Slice are promising to get consumers refunds if they paid more than the Black Friday or Cyber Monday price when they shopped in person or online.

So let the shopping begin.

All of these electronics sales, though, pose an interesting question. What happens to all the older models of these devices that people own, once they’ve been replaced?

 

Why Are The Holidays a Major Time to Replace Old Electronics?

 

The holidays are the ideal time for consumers to switch out their old devices to make way for the new ones.
So what’s going to happen to all the old ones?

If history is any guide, chances are that sadly, far too many people will simply throw them out. That’s a bad situation because that means a whole lot of those devices will end up in landfills as e-waste, and that’s a major environmental disaster waiting to happen.

So the holidays are an ideal time for all consumers to stock up on the latest versions of their favorite electronics, it’s also a great time to educate themselves on something else: recycling.

If you’re comfortable tossing your used cans, newspapers, cardboard boxes and plastics into a recycling bin rather than into the trash, it’s important to keep in mind that old, unwanted electronics can be recycled as well.

Anyone of us, once we’ve decided we longer want our older electronics, can take them to a professional recycling firm like Great Lakes Electronics Corporation.

Doing that provides an enormous boost to our environment since these electronics contain toxic chemicals like mercury and lead that can seep out into the ground and pose significant health hazards by contaminating the soil and nearby water. People who live nearby, and wildlife, can develop serious health problems as a result.

And we know that the holidays are going to be a time when people replace a lot of electronics. So our challenge today is boosting recycling rates.

 

How Do We Start Getting into a Recycling Frame of Mind?

With the big shopping rush about to start and the full hustle and bustle of the holiday season soon getting underway, consumers have a lot on their minds.

Shopping lists.

Decorating.

Big meals to plan.

Office parties to book.

That’s a lot to take on during this six-week time period, and no doubt for many consumers, rushing into stores to get deals on new electronics is a part of the game plan as well.

Electronics should be recycled responsibly, no matter what time of year it is, and it’s always great when more consumers learn this and get into the habit of recycling their e-waste.

But this is a message that’s worth repeating at this time of year when the rush to take advantage of holiday marked down prices leads to a major surge in consumer spending on electronics. And, as the old saying goes, when it’s in with the new, that means out with the old.

There are e-waste recycling companies available that can purchase and recycle your old, unwanted devices.

 

Conclusion

 

This holiday season, it’s important that we all stay safe, cherish the great times we have with our family, friends, and co-workers, and enjoy the trappings of the season. If that includes doing some shopping for the latest electronics, enjoy!

Keep in mind as well the importance of recycling your used electronics once the holidays are over.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Of Cats And Wolves.” Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.

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