What’s going to happen to the device you’re reading this article on?
At some point, every piece of gadgetry breaks or becomes obsolete, and must be disposed of. A new infographic from used electronics broker eCycle Best (via Inhabitat) shows the benefits of recycling your old phones, tablets, and computers.
Recycling is particularly important when it comes to these devices because they can often be reused. Sometimes, an owner simply wants to upgrade to a newer device, leaving the old one still functional. This hand-me-down process has become a new small-business niche, and extends the useful life of items that require a lot of effort to build, ship, and sell.
Once a device is truly no longer useful, it can be broken down. Valuable materials can be salvaged and reused, lessening the strain on the natural resources required to make modern life possible.
Unfortunately, that isn’t necessarily what happens. In 2010, the U.S. produced 2,440,000 tons of e-water, enough to occupy 60 landfills. So next time, don’t just throw your old phone in the garbage.