With an estimated 1.5 billion cell phones purchased in 2017, it couldn’t be more clear that technology has become a way of life. Add in all the folks who have a tablet and a computer or laptop as well as a phone and you realize how devoted we are to our devices. Trouble is, we don’t keep our gadgets forever. In fact, the majority of people upgrade their cell phones about every two years, according to the global analytics firm Gallup. That means a lot of electronics being discarded, many of them improperly. Experts at the United Nations forecast that humanity will produce a whopping 52.2 million metric tons of e-waste by 2021.
If you hope to avoid being part of the problem—and would also like to get rid of broken or obsolete gadgets without putting your personal data up for grabs—start here. You’ll learn why electronics must be recycled properly, ways to put outmoded devices to good use, and how to dispose of them to keep yourself, your family, and the environment from harm.