Computers become obsolete quickly, and you will probably have to replace it after just a few years. When you go out and pick up the replacement, you will be left wondering what to do with the old one. You may decide to give it to a family member or donate it to a local charity, but what do you do when it’s time to dispose of the electronics permanently? Whether you have an old tablet with a cracked screen or a computer with a defective hard drive, it’s better to recycle the electronics than to toss them in the trash. Here are five great reasons to recycle your personal electronics.

Heavy Metals are Bad for the Environment
Heavy metals leach out of materials and can enter the ground water. The EPA in the United States did a study and determined that 70 percent of the heavy metals in landfills were from old electronics. Ironically, electronics only accounted for two percent of the trash in those landfills. Electronics are filled with heavy metals because they are excellent conductors, so keeping them out of the landfills will reduce the amount of heavy metals entering the ground.

Conserve Resources
The same metals that are contaminating ground water supplies are highly recyclable. They can be reclaimed, melted down and used in new electronics. In addition to the metal, the glass screen and plastic housings can also be recycled and reused. This eases the strain on the environment and preserves precious resources.

More Jobs are Created
When more people start to recycle, more jobs will naturally be created. More than 90 percent of electronic equipment can be recycled, but somebody needs to collect the materials, transport them and see that they are ready for use in new equipment.

Support your Favorite Charity
You may not know how to recycle that old computer, but your favorite charity might. Several non-profit agencies like school and charities are collecting old electronics and selling them to recyclers. They only make a small amount on each item, but it starts to add up as they send more electronics in for recycling. Consider donating your electronics to help support your favorite cause. If you aren’t sure who collects electronics, then ask friends on social media sites if they are aware of any local charities.

It’s Easy
There are several great reasons to invest in computer recycling, but the best one may be that it’s easy. Once you locate an agency that will accept your old laptop or that desktop that finally stopped working, all you have to do is drop it off. They will handle the rest. Before recycling your electronics, take the time to wipe the hard drive to protect any personal information.

The next time you buy a new computer or smartphone, think twice before dropping your old one in the trash. Someone you know may be able to use that item, or you can send it in to be recycled. Keeping your electronics out of the landfill is better for the earth because it keeps heavy metals out of the groundwater. It’s good for local charities who sell the electronics to recyclers, and you will help create jobs in your area.