How to Reduce E-waste: 9 Easy Ways to Tackle Toxic E-waste

How to Reduce E-waste: 9 Easy Ways to Tackle Toxic E-waste
keyKey Takeaways:
  • E-waste negatively impacts the environment and humans with the toxic chemicals it releases.
  • Instead of buying new devices, consider repairing or refurbishing your existing ones. This also saves you money in the long run.
  • If you have electronic devices that you no longer need, donate or sell them. This keeps them out of landfills.

Do you realize how many electronic devices have you purchased till now? Now guess the figure for the whole city? Country? Or even the global figure?

It is hard to guess but you do realize that the number will be whopping. In fact, Statista does have a figure for the expected worldwide revenue to be generated from the consumer electronics market in 2023 – it is $1028 billion!

But, have you ever wondered what happens when these devices turn dysfunctional or obsolete? They become electronic waste which, in turn, becomes harmful to the whole world.

And the worrying part is that currently only 20% of total e-waste is recycled. Thus, there is a dire need for the e-waste to be reduced in the first place. Therefore, it is necessary to understand in what ways it is threatening the environment and human health before we go through how to reduce e-waste.

The Alarming Impact of E-waste

It is a no-brainer that e-waste is inflicting damage to the environment and human health. And therefore, let’s have a closer look at each of them to understand how.

1. Environmental impact of e-waste

Had you been aware that an electronic device contains toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium? Thus, they can pollute our soil, water, and air when these devices are not properly disposed of.

And to make matters worse, e-waste often ends up in landfills. Here they wait for hundreds of years to be decomposed. So, it doesn’t take long for landfills to get as overcrowded as the sidewalks of Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

2. Health impact of e-waste

We, humans, too are not armored from the negative impacts of e-waste. So, realize that exposure to these materials may cause you a range of health problems, including respiratory issues, neurological damage, and even cancer.

Sadly, poor and inefficient practices to recycle electronics are still prevalent in many developing countries. Thus, the workers and local communities over there are at risk of catching up on health-related problems.

This is a call to save yourself and society from the challenge of e-waste that stares us right in the eye. Next, we will see why reducing e-waste is important.

Why it is Important to Reduce E-waste?

1. Environmental benefits

As we said, e-waste contains environmentally-toxic chemicals. So, reducing e-waste means less harmful chemicals for mother nature to deal with.

Thus, if we stretch the lifespan of electronic gadgets, it automatically reduces the demand for new devices. Thus, in turn, will decrease the amount of e-waste we have left to be decomposed.

Additionally, the environment also gets relieved to an extent from the negative impact of manufacturing and transportation.

2. Economic benefits

We do spend a lot on buying new gadgets. However, it is much more economically reasonable to repair or buy refurbished devices.

This way, you can save a significant amount of money for yourself while also making an invaluable contribution to tackling the contribution of e-waste.

3. Social benefits

Many people’s lives are at risk when it comes to e-waste. Even though workers trying to dispose of it improperly are most prone to such a risk, you also are not immune to it.

So, reducing electronic waste benefits society in general by saving people from being exposed to its harmful effects.

Now you are aware of the negative impact of the demon we are facing and would be interested to tackle the mounting e-waste. So, once you are ready to contribute, all you need to do is follow the nine ways.

9 Simple Ways to Reduce E-waste

1. Repair or refurbish electronic equipment

Getting an electronic device damaged is quite common. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to buy another one, even if your finances can support that decision.

Instead, repair broken electronics as much as possible. And if you are left with no other option but to make a purchase, consider buying a refurbished device.

A refurbished device is a used device that the seller has made almost anew so that the buyer can use it again. This saves devices from getting dumped as e-waste for quite longer.

2. Donate or sell unwanted devices

Do you have any gadgets that you no longer need or use? Then, consider giving them to a charity or selling them to someone looking for such a device.

Donate or sell unwanted devices to reduce e-waste

This way the person on the other side won’t have to buy a new gadget to fulfill his needs and thus, reducing the demand for new pieces. So, this small act can collectively contribute hugely to reducing the e-waste problem.

Pro tip: You can try using services such as Gazelle, Swappa, etc. to buy or sell used devices.

3. Recycle electronic devices

Sometimes you may have used a device to its maximum that you have no other choice but to buy one. And it’s so dead that you cannot even resell it to someone. What to do then?

Recycle them properly. Many electronics manufacturers and retailers offer e-waste recycling programs. Or else some local governments may also have such programs going on. 

So, it is recommended to check for these and give your device there to ensure that it is recycled in an environmentally responsible way.

4. Extend the life of electronic devices

Take care of your gadget to extend its life as much as possible. This slows down the demand for it and thus, reduces the number of devices that end up as a waste. Here are few things you need to consider in order to protect your device for long time:

  • Use protective cases
  • Avoid exposing devices to extreme temperatures or moisture

5. Avoid unnecessary upgrades

No device stays the latest for long these days. So, it is tempting these days to keep upgrading it unnecessarily even if it is just to stay cool in your circles. However, upgrades can lead to increased e-waste. 

Avoid unnecessary upgrades to reduce e-waste

Thus, realize that there will always be a new gadget coming and the process is never-ending. Therefore you need to be satisfied instead and stick to what you have got.

6. Use durable and long-lasting products

Usually, for the sake of saving some dollars, we may end up buying an inferior product. However, it may sooner turn into e-waste as compared to its high-end alternative.

So, whenever purchasing any device, go for high-quality even if you have to pay a bit higher. Doing so, you will save eventually with its reliability and performance. And along with it, the world will also be relieved from some e-waste.

7. Use cloud storage

Next trick in our waste management practice is to use cloud storage as opposed to storing data physically. This will reduce the need for other types of storage devices such as pen drives, hard disks, etc. which eventually turn into e-waste.

Use cloud storage to reduce e-waste

As an added benefit of using cloud storage, you will also get to access your data from anywhere, meaning that it will be more secure.

8. Use rechargeable batteries

A chunk of e-waste is due to the usage of disposable batteries – use once and then throw them away waiting to be “disposed of”.

So, instead of piling them up, use rechargeable batteries which have a longer lifespan as they can be charged again and again.

9. Avoid single-use electronics

Do you know devices such as disposable cameras or single-use cell phones are typically not recyclable and contribute significantly to e-waste?

That’s right. And so, you need to avoid purchasing electronics that are designed to be used only once and buy their robust version only if you need them at all.

These were the 9 simple ways in which you can reduce e-waste. As we know even a small contribution can make a huge impact, it is advisable to help mother nature by starting to be more responsible towards it from now on.

The problem of e-waste is surging day by day, which means it creates a great business opportunity as well. Let’s dive deeper in the next section.

Do We Really Need More Recycling Businesses in the Future?

The short answer is yes. No matter what you do, even if you slow down the production of e-waste, the need for recycling products will remain unchanged. Remember, as we said earlier, that only 20% of total e-waste is recycled? For this to be balanced, we need more initiatives in the electronics industry that take up this challenge.

In other words, simply put, recycling businesses play a critical role in preventing e-waste from polluting the environment. Here is how:

  1. Recycling businesses prevent e-waste from ending up in landfills by collecting and processing electronic devices for reuse or recycling.
  1. They recover valuable materials from e-waste such as gold, silver, and copper, which can be used to make new products.
  1. Recycling businesses reduce greenhouse gas emissions by preventing the need to manufacture new products.
  1. By creating a market for recycled materials, recycling businesses generate revenue and contribute to the circular economy.

So, if you want to grab this opportunity as tons of e-waste are left unaddressed, starting your e-waste business is an ideal solution.

Moving ahead, making waste collection trips would not be that easy if you are doing things manually. What can be done? You need a unique waste management routing software like Upper. It helps you get optimized routes for waste collection in a matter of clicks so that you save big on your time and money.

Get Faster Routes for Waste Collection on Upper

Upper makes route planning simple and easy with its automated routing process. Which means now no more hassle of taking follow-ups frequently.


Common e-waste items that can be recycled include smartphones, laptops, desktop computers, printers, televisions, and other electronic devices.

You can recycle your old electronic devices by finding a local recycling facility that accepts e-waste. Many electronics manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung also offer recycling programs, so you can check with them for more information.

Recycling e-waste can help to conserve natural resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prevent pollution, and create economic opportunities.

You can donate or sell your old electronic devices that are still functional. This can help to extend their life and prevent unnecessary waste.

Here are some profitable recycling business ideas to start your business:

  1. Paper recycling business
  2. Plastic recycling business
  3. E-waste recycling business
  4. Scrap metal recycling business
  5. Textile recycling business

Upon deciding where you want to start, we recommend you create a reliable recycling business plan to guide you further.


The negative impact of e-waste is only getting more and more concerning with each passing day. Thus, reducing e-waste is crucial for the environment and humans themselves. 

We can turn the tables by following these 9 ways to reduce e-waste and also encourage others to do the same. This way, collectively, we can make a huge impact toward a better future. On the ending note, it is recommendable to use Upper for reducing longer trips for waste collection. Making a switch means you can quickly wrap up the recycling process. Avail of a 7-day free trial now.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner, a route planning and optimization software. With 28+ years of experience in the technology industry, Rakesh is a subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems. His ultimate goal with Upper Route Planner is to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges and simplify operations such as route planning, scheduling, dispatching, take a proof of delivery, manage drivers, real time tracking, customer notifications and more. He loves sharing his thoughts on eliminating delivery management challenges via blogs. Read more.