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Electronics Recycling in DC and MD

Upgrading and replacing the technology around your office is essential.

What do you do with the old equipment?

It can be tempting to just throw it away, but that can actually pose a serious risk. When technology passes over into obsolescence, or simply stops working, it tends to just accumulate.

When technology passes over into obsolescence, or simply stops working, it tends to just accumulate. We all have seen (or maybe even contributed to) closets full of outdated printers, chunky laptops, and desktops built like compact cars.

This tech may seem like all plastic and glass, but deeper inside it actually houses toxic materials. Arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium… All are carcinogenic (potentially cancer-causing), and they don’t break down easily. Suddenly it becomes clearer why they can’t just be dumped in a landfill, leaching into our ecosystem.

On the other side of the equation, there are also precious metals interwoven with electronic components. These should be recovered, recycled, and reused, lowering catastrophic levels of e-waste.


    electronics recycling bin on wheels

    Another Practical Benefit of Recycling Your Electronics

    Server rooms can easily become massive junk drawers, housing excessive clutter that has accumulated over the years as you add to or update your network.

    Clearing out the old offers a few key, practical benefits:

    • It becomes much easier to service your network, making routine maintenance, improvements, or repairs simpler.
    • Reduces power consumption from unused hardware that’s still plugged in (whether you realize it or not).
    • Reduces trip hazards.
    • Promotes proper airflow, extending hardware longevity. Letting your hardware “breathe” is essential, and will lower your costs over time.

    Don’t Risk Your Privacy and Security By Improperly Throwing Away Electronics

    It’s a danger to the environment, but it also can be a real danger to your own privacy and data.

    As a Maryland-based technology company, we deal extensively with data protection, security, and disaster recovery. We also help our clients with technology recycling and determining what to keep, what to dispose of, and how to properly dispose of it.

    We know firsthand that there are people who are all too willing to mine information from old technology, accessing critical data that you might not even realize was still available. It’s much like throwing away paper bills or bank statements: people go through the trash to access account numbers all the time, making shredding a safer alternative.

    broken laptop sitting on ground next to metal trash can and black garbage bag

    How Do You Safely Get Rid of Electronics?

    Here’s a quick snapshot of the process.

    But first, before any of this occurs, be sure to wipe your data and remove any memory or SIM cards. Or, if there’s no external memory card, you can plug it into your computer to wipe anything stored internally.

    Just to reiterate, it’s not enough to delete your files. The system must be “wiped,” meaning erased completely (or have the storage drive removed and destroyed).

    Restoring the device to original factory settings will also wipe the slate clean, removing personal information and saved files. You should be able to find specific steps for how to do this in your user manual, or by a simple search online.

    Step 1

    First, we schedule a pickup at your office location; a Teltek engineer will help you evaluate what hardware is worth retaining vs disposing of.

    Step 2

    Then your items are dropped off at a recycling center.

    Step 3

    A large magnet is used to pull out any iron or steel components.

    Step 4

    The components are then stripped and sorted, with true waste items broken down for further sorting and recycling.

    Step 5

    Water separation technology then separates glass from plastics.

    Step 6

    Any other valuable materials are further separated in the recycling stream, often by hand, and set aside for reuse.

    destroy data, shred paper

    What is Data Destruction?

    While there are techie ways to wipe your data, data destruction gets a little more physical.

    This is literal destruction. In fact, you can pay to have your hard drive shredded, ensuring that nothing can ever be recovered. This is ideal for businesses or organizations that require a higher level of security and protection.

    Where Should You Dispose of Your Electronics?

    As we mentioned above, one option is to recycle. There are a number of places to safely do this here in Maryland and the DC area.

    Dispose of Your Electronics

    Check out these resources as a good starting point. Each take different types of electronics and different quantities at a time (depending on how much you have to get rid of).

    Electronics Recycling Drop-Off from MDRecycles.org

    This one breaks it down by Maryland towns and counties, and by which type of electronics you can recycle.

    eCycle Your Used Electronic Equipment at the Library

    For smaller drop-offs, the DC Public Library will collect electronics for recycling on specific days.

    DC.gov, Department of Energy & Environment

    eCYCLE DC offers a number of locations and dates for electronics recycling.

    Donate Your Electronics

    Another alternative is to donate your old electronics, especially if you know it still has life left in it but just doesn’t suit your needs anymore. Here are a few resources.

    Computers with Causes

    Not only is your donation tax deductible, but you’ll also know that your computer or tablet is going to someone in need.

    Goodwill

    If they can’t sell them, they’ll ensure that they’re recycled properly.

    National Cristina Foundation

    This organization connects your donation with schools or charities in need.

    Your Local Community

    Talk to your local schools, libraries, or nonprofits and see if they could use them.

    No matter which you choose, it’s nice to know that your electronics are going to good use and being managed responsibly.

    Not Sure Which of Your Electronics To Recycle?

    Feel free to contact us at Teltek.

    We’ve served businesses and organizations in the MD and DC area for over 25 years, and would be happy to lend a hand. We’ll walk through your server room and office with you, helping you decide what should go, what can stay, and how to make the most of your old equipment.