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Toxic Tech: Why you should e-cycle

The EPA estimates 80-85% of electronic waste ends up in our landfills. So, your old cell phones, computers and other gadgets may be doing more damage than you even realized. 

Computers, cell phones and other gadgets look harmless from the outside. But on the inside, it’s a very different story.

“There’s at least a dozen different toxic chemicals in this one board,” said Ken Colburn, the original Data Doctor, as he holds up pieces from inside a computer. “I don’t think people realize how much wiring goes in to a lot of the technology we use all day long.”

He wants everyone to know the impact our electronics can have on our environment, if we don’t dispose of them properly.

Maybe it’s time for that cell phone upgrade. Maybe you’re doing some spring cleaning.

If it’s out with the old, and in with the new, don’t forget to make the switch properly.

“We all love our gadgets and we replace them too often,” said Colburn. Half the time they end up in a drawer somewhere and then eventually you’re cleaning up and you just throw them out.”

But your trash can or your recycling bin won’t cut it, if you want to do your part for the environment.

Your gadgets can be taken apart, sorted, re-purposed or recycled.

It’s important to remember for Earth Day and every day.

“The fact that this stuff ends up in the landfills instead of properly recycled, is going to damage our environment,” Colburn said.

Friday is Earth Day, but it’s also Technology Recycling Week. All Arizona locations of Data Doctors will be serving as drop off points for your old electronics this week.

Westech Recyclers then wipes old gadgets and re-purposes or recycles them. Those donations help the Arizona Technology Council, which helps Valley students make it to the National Science Bowl.