The recyclability of electronics has become an important topic today because of the ever-expanding electronics industry. New models of electronics, including video game consoles, are always coming on the market, and many consumers are finding themselves with broken or obsolete consoles that are no longer wanted.
If a console is still in good shape, a great alternative to disposing it is to sell or donate it. But, if the product is in unusable condition, environmentally conscious consumers may be looking for details on if and how their video game console is recyclable.
Video game consoles are made up of many different parts, which are disposable in different ways. All brands and types of consoles are each a little bit different, but, according to AZVA Electronics Recycling
, most current-generation consoles are made up of some basic parts. The basic console parts include:
- Circuit boards
- Plastic casing
- Game discs
Let’s examine each basic part’s recyclability.
The circuit board contained within the console is made of many different components. Some of the materials that often make up circuit boards are zinc, nickel, lead and other mined materials. Unfortunately, many of these materials used are nonrenewable and will stay in the environment for a long time, but there are good alternatives to recycling a circuit board. Many companies will trade cash for electronics, including circuit boards, which are a desirable commodity.
Whether portable or plug-in, all video game consoles must either contain or connect to a battery. Batteries also usually contain a mix of materials, such as copper and cobalt, similar to that of the circuit board. These materials, again, can stay in the environment for a long time, but many companies who sell them have a takeback program for batteries.
The plastic casing of consoles are made from crude oil and natural gas mixed with chemicals, which are nonrenewable. With the amount of plastic waste in the environment, it has become practice to recycle plastic casing by incorporating it into other resources, such as chairs.
The game discs are similar to the plastic casing, as they are almost fully made of plastic, but they also contain a limited amount of aluminum that allows the disc to be read. The aluminum is difficult to separate from the surrounding plastic, so the discs are usually not recyclable.
Knowing the components to electronic devices like video game consoles can make it easier to understand why they are not easy to recycle. Consoles should not be thrown out, but finding a recycling location
or takeback program that allows you to give your console a second life is easy.