Recycling material in our ears

When we talk about electronic recycling it is very common that we relate it directly to devices that have screens or that have a domestic utility. However, there is technology all around us that we don’t pay attention to when it comes to recycling and that often ends up in the regular trash bin. For example, headphones and headsets contain materials that are difficult to recycle, so they need to be disposed of carefully and responsibly.

In our lives, we always encounter situations where headphones are necessary. The digital age forces us to have them at hand and has made them a common device. With them, we can listen to music, podcasts, listen to movies and series. Basically, they allow us to isolate the sounds that interest us and drive them directly to our ears. The models vary, they can be from simple headphones to the classic giant DJ headphones.

But whatever their use or model, all headphones have recycling material, including plastics, which allows them to fall into the category of electronic recycling. When your headphones have outlived their useful life, don’t throw them in the regular trash. Instead, consider recycling these devices and help prevent more non-biodegradable components in landfills.

Steps to take with our old headphones

Even before you think about recycling, if your old headphones still work, you can donate them to those in need. If they don’t work at all, you can turn them in as recycling material. The good news is that local governments around the world are also helping with this type of e-waste thanks to recycling facilities. Here in our country, it is very common to see these initiatives. 

Most communities are setting up electronic recycling programs that allow their members to drop off devices and items at specialized centers. These recycling facilities are special because they do not allow the components to wear out or their chemicals to leach into the ground. Thus, they become a reliable alternative for dropping off handsets. In addition, some companies consider headsets in their electronic recycling operations. Sometimes it may be the manufacturers themselves because they know how to treat the materials in the devices. 

Effective recycling models

JLAb is one of them, a company that sells Bluetooth devices, headsets and speakers that today has a recycling program that you can participate in. After filling out a form on their website, users receive information on how to successfully recycle their headphones. As a thank you, JLAb rewards them with a 30% discount coupon on their online purchases. In New Hampshire, its citizens also have a hearing aid recycling alternative near them thanks to Thinksound, which accepts old hearing aids and offers up to 15% off the next purchase.

Another example is BestBuy, where you can walk into any of their stores and drop off your old headphones or other electronic devices for recycling material. Normally, their recycling garbage cans are located at the entrance, but if the devices are large, they are left at the customer service counter.

If what you want to recycle are old, high-end headphones, there are companies that will buy them. This alternative allows you to recover your investment for future purchases. Another alternative may be to recondition the headsets with certain materials and components that you can recycle. This is a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly approach.

Also, when it comes to headphones with specialized models, you can consider adding a more functional adapter, another recycling alternative. For example, attaching Bluetooth adapters to headphones with traditional wires to wireless speakers is also another good option. This way, you will continue to recycle items to get more out of your old headphones.

Keeping our hearing aids

To reduce the purchase of headphones that generate more e-waste in the future, you can start making better use of your headphones with the following recommendations.

  • Invest in a good pair and make sure they are from a reputable manufacturer.
  • Clean your headphones with a soft cloth and special cleaners to keep their components in good condition for longer.
  • Try not to wrap them, if you do wrap them carefully and put them away when not in use.

Electronic recycling is today a necessity that must continue to find alternatives for users. One of them is recycling itself, which ensures a special treatment for its contaminating components. Another alternative is to consider donating the devices so that they do not end up in landfills.

At eSmart Recycling we combine both solutions with the recycling and donation of computers for children and families in need. In this way we contribute to the management of electronic waste and to a more competitive future in the digital environment for the people of our community.

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