As electronics become a more significant part of daily living, so does electronic waste. If you have a box or drawer full of old wire and cables in your home, you are part of the new normal. Electronic wires and cables contain lots of valuable material and should not be thrown out with your regular trash. Luckily, there are things you can do with your old cables other than take up space in your home.
Thing #1: Reuse
Many cables and wires can be used for more than the intended device. For example, many charging cables will work on multiple devices. You can use your old charging cables and cords on your new devices. You can keep a charging cable at home and work when you have back-ups. You can also see if a friend or a family member has a use for any of the cables you have around your home.
Thing #2: Recycle
Electronic cables and wires may be small, but they contain various valuable materials, such as copper, aluminum, and plastic, all of which can be recycled. To recycle them, you are going to want to find an e-waste facility in your area. Many electronic stores run their e-waste recycling programs. They will allow you to drop off old electronics, such as cords, cables, wires, phones, tablets, and even computers, to be properly recycled.
Other e-waste recycling programs will send you packaging so you can ship them your e-waste. Or you may be lucky enough to live somewhere with an e-waste program where you can drop off your cable recycling without going to the store or mailing anything in.
Thing #3: Donate
Third, you may be able to donate your old electronics and electronic cables, and chargers. Many STEM programs may happily accept your donations. They can use your e-waste in their laboratories, allowing students to take things apart and create new things. They may also need the wires and cables for their operations. For example, they may need more ethernet cables for their operation or need back-up chargers for their computers and tablets.
Some schools may also be interested in your old wires and cables for the same reason. They may give the wires and charging cables to students who need them or use them as back-ups to keep at the school.
If you have a drawer or box full of old cables and wires for electronics you no longer have or no longer use, you can reuse them, recycle them at an e-waste facility, or donate them to a STEM facility. Your old cords can be put to use again, so don't let them continue to sit in a junk drawer, taking up space in your home.