Editor's note: This story was originally published on Jan. 5, 2016.
A busy holiday full of shiny, new electronics under the tree can lead to a graveyard of what was once the latest and greatest.
But are you disposing of those old electronics properly?
There are two big mistakes we often make.
First, throwing the old items into our household recycling bin or trash bin.
"It will not be sorted," said Tom Holland, with Westech Recyclers. "Once it gets to the transfer station it's mixed with all the other trash; food waste. It'll end up going into the landfill."
That means heavy metals end up in the landfill, which can seep into ground water.
The other big mistake we make?
Forgetting about the personal data that is stored on that old equipment.
"A lot of electronic devices have data that people aren't aware of," said Holland. "That would be like printers, modems, routers, PCs, servers, laptops, tablets, cellphones. They all contain personal data and it's important that it get wiped and not get in the hands of the wrong folks for identity theft."
That's why Westech wipes your equipment for you.
So, e-cycling and getting rid of your equipment the proper way will protect your identity and the environment.
"We only have so many resources," said Holland. "And if we continue to fill up our landfills with things that can be re-used, it's going to cause problems for our future generations."
Copyright 2016 KPNX