When consumers are done with their electronic products, most of them will either throw the particular device away or put it in a storage room in their house where it will most likely never be touched again.
To give consumers more options when it comes to disposing of their electronic devices, the EIA (Electronic Industries Alliance) has created a Web site that acts as an online guide on how to recycle and dispose of their devices.
The new Web site, E-Cycling Central, formerly known as the Consumer Education Initiative, was developed by the Arlington, Va. EIAs Environmental Issues Council to provide users with ways to recycle used electronic products such as renovating the device, giving it back to schools, charities, economically disadvantaged or disabled citizens.
Rick Gross, EIAs vice president of environmental affairs, told eWEEK that the site was designed to, "Provide the general public and institutional consumers [i.e., small businesses, school districts, hospitals, universities and local governments] with access to information and resources for proper electronics recycling."
The site provides users with a database of management options as well as tips on how to make decisions and how to properly manage their used electronic devices.
EIAs new Web site also gives users tips on how to remove important data from their electronic devices before donating, selling or recycling the device so that the user does not experience identity theft.
Gross explained to eWEEK that several negative outcomes are possible if a user does not properly manage their used electronic devices.
"The consumers personal information could be taken from their used computer or wireless device," Gross said. "Disposing an electronic device also wastes valuable resources and the system/device might be exported to a facility that lacks the proper safety and training procedures to properly manage it."
The e-cycling central Web site includes information on where to find electronics recycling, reuse and donation programs throughout the United States.
"A consumer can use the site to search for electronics recyclers in their community," Gross said. "However, we strongly encourage consumers to contact a prospective recycler to determine how they manage the equipment they collect."
The site has also posted a series of questions that consumers can ask a prospective recycler to help determine if that recycler will properly manage the used system.
"By updating the site, we hope to further stress the importance of properly recycling used electronics based on electronic value, resource conservation and personal data security," Gross said.