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Think Before You Toss: E-Cycling

By Marissa Malone

Published April 24, 2015

Tired of staring at your old, dusty laptop? It’s time to think about spring cleaning and recycling your old devices. But don’t just throw it in the garbage: you’ll want to clean off your personal information and find a recycling center.

Marissa Malone (UB Student, Class of 2015) has a dream of traveling to all seven continents, and she’s already visited four. When not globetrotting, Marissa studies Communication, Spanish, and Management at UB while working for both UBIT and Career Services.

Waste Once, Pay Twice

As people try to stay up to date with the latest technology, the life cycle of electronics are diminishing, leaving old electronics often hidden in drawers or thrown away.

According to the Environmental Leader, putting devices out with general trash is contributing to a predicted rise in global volume of e-waste from 41.8 million tons in 2014 to 93.5 million tons in 2016. The materials used to build many devices contain toxins and chemicals that when are improperly incinerated, release dangerous environmental pollutants into our atmosphere.

The Environmental Protection Agency encourages e-cycling in order to reuse valuable materials, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve energy, and save resources by extracting fewer raw materials from the earth.

Easy as 1, 2...

So, what should you do in order to e-cycle your device?

1.       Prevent identity theft by using the free software, DBAN, to ensure all sensitive information is erased from all disk drives.

2.       Locate an e-waste recycling facility where you can drop off in your area (or sometimes, even have your devices picked up) through Sunnking or Erie County’s electronics recycling page. 

What else can I do?

To learn more about how you can make an impact and be more sustainable, visit