One of the benefits of using an e-reader is that you get to enjoy reading a ton of books without worrying about contributing to paper pollution. Just imagine the sheer volume of paper that goes into producing physical books. However, it would help if you didn’t forget that e-readers also come with their carbon footprint. It might be remarkably lower compared to that of actual books. Still, the fact remains that using a digital device for your reading needs doesn’t make you free from any guilt associated with the environmental impact of producing, distributing and disposing of e-readers.
There comes the point when you need to say goodbye to your e-reader. As someone who cares for the environment, you should know better than simply throwing away your device in the trash. It would help if you learned about the proper way to recycle e-readers and do your part in helping reduce e-waste. Keep reading to learn what options are available to you.
1) Reach out to your local waste provider
Look for information on local waste providers and the type of materials they accept for recycling. This list of materials varies by state, county or city, so be prudent enough to do your research. The good news is that most local waste management companies welcome electronic devices for recycling. Check their website and find instructions for how, when and where to dispose of e-readers.
2) Check whether the manufacturer recycles e-readers
Many people don’t realize that manufacturers of e-readers themselves recognize the importance of recycling and, thus, allow owners to send over their devices. They offer their recycling programs to make them as convenient as possible for their customers to recycle their gadgets.
For instance, Amazon offers an Amazon Trade-In program in which you can trade your old device and receive a gift card to Amazon.com, credit for your next purchase or even an Amazon promo code. Barnes & Noble is also happy to accept e-readers from their customers, but their recycling program is only available in a few states.
In Canada and the United States, Kobo finances the proper collection and treatment of their devices when they become waste to ensure they do not end up in the landfill or other improper storage/treatment of waste. This is accomplished through partnership in the provincial and/or state electronic waste collection programs. These programs create drop off locations and treatment for your devices when they become waste. To find a location near you, please go to the following link: http://search.earth911.com/
3) Find stores that accept electronic recyclables
Electronics manufacturers, stores and retailers are usually eager to do their part in preventing electronic devices from reaching the landfills. They often work with third-party recyclers and refurbishers to guarantee that the electronic devices they use are transformed into something useful instead of merely polluting the environment. An excellent place to start is to search for the participants of the Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge and see what stores and retailers are near you.
4) Consider donating your e-reader
If your e-reader still works fine, but you want to upgrade to a new version, why not consider donating it. It always feels nice when you know that you’re helping other people. Just imagine a student using your e-reader to access textbooks for cheap and read all of them in a single device. Search for local donation centers near you and confirm whether they accept e-readers for donation and what organizations they help.
Markus lives in San Francisco, California and is the video game and audio expert on Good e-Reader! He has a huge interest in new e-readers and tablets, and gaming.