Your drawer full of old tech could have a new life — or start a fire.

How to upcycle and recycle your old gadgets and smartphones

By Chris Velazco Washington Post, September 28, 2021 (excerpt)

If your home is anything like mine, there’s a forlorn drawer somewhere that’s full of old batteries, zip-ties, cables and gadgets you haven’t touched in years.

That stuff might look like junk, but don’t be fooled: Some of it is potential e-waste, and the last thing you should do is toss it in the trash.Introducing Help Desk: Technology coverage that makes tech work for you

Many of your old phones and tablets are packed with components containing rare metals that are difficult to find and pull out of the ground. Once those components wind up in the landfill, there’s no easy way to recover them, so the limited supply we already have shrinks even further. Other kinds of e-waste, such as rechargeable batteries, often contain chemicals that could pose problems for the environment or human health, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And gadgets that contain nonremovable batteries could start a fire if they, say, get crushed in a compactor.

Managing the growing e-waste problem will take serious effort from tech companies and the governments that regulate them. But there are some important ways you can help, too — here are a few ways to repurpose and recycle some of the tech taking up space in your life. More

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