Whether at home or at work, you probably have a drawer, box – or maybe just a tangled pile – of old electronics, wires, and cables. But, even though they might seem like just old cables, they are considered electronic waste. And that makes how you get rid of old cables and wires very important.
If you just throw them away in the regular trash, you risk contaminating the air, water and soil with heavy metals and plastics made of a variety of toxic compounds. In most areas, you are required to dispose of wires and cables as electronic waste (e-waste), which means special handling.
But, you have options even before you get rid of old cables and wires that will help protect the environment.
How to Get Rid of Old Cables & Wires
1. Take an Inventory of Your Wires & Cables
Chances are that many of the cables you have lying around are still usable. So, it’s important to know which ones you need to get rid of. Go through and sort your cables and chargers.
2. Reuse Them
Check the electronics you currently use to see if any of the cables you have are compatible. Keeping those cables will save money on sourcing and buying replacements. They can also add to the convenience of having cables in different locations around your workplace or home so you’re not always looking for one.
3. Donate Reusable Wires & Cables
You can donate wires and cables that are still in good working condition. Non-profit organizations and schools are often in need of electronic cables.
4. Recycle Them as E-Waste
Many municipalities have regular e-waste collection, similar to trash pick-ups. Follow the instructions for placing e-waste on the curbside and set them out on designated collection days.
5. Upgrade Your Electronics
Many newer electronics use more standardized cables, like lightning cables and USB-C cables. By upgrading your electronics to devices that use more standardized cables, you can safely recycle or dispose of your old cables and devices. You’ll end up with fewer cables and no more tangled piles of old cables.
If you found this post helpful, check out our recent article Why a Spring Clean Up Can Improve Your Productivity.