What to Know About Video Camera Recycling

electronics on table

E-waste or electronic waste refers to unusable or unwanted electronics and electrical components, which covers everything from old cell phones and video cameras to computers and hard drives. Electrical products and components contain toxic chemicals and dangerous metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. Not only are these contaminants hazardous to the environment, but they are also known to cause cancer and nervous system damage.

Certain states have outlawed the disposal of electronic devices, and instead, encourage their communities to recycle them. Additionally, some states, including Michigan, have even introduced laws requiring manufacturers to remove unwanted or unused products to reduce e-waste in waterways, landfills, and green spaces.

In this article, we’ll discuss why you should choose video camera recycling over disposals. 

Recycling Versus Disposing

Technology changes so rapidly that many old video cameras, VCRs, and VHS systems that use photographic film have been replaced with digital versions. Many consumers throw away old electronics into their trash without realizing they are contributing to toxic waste pollution.

No matter the brand or design of the camera, its electronic components and plastic housing will end up in landfills when the product is discarded, which will then leach toxic pollutants into the soil. Recycling video cameras is preferred for reducing environmental risks to the air, soil, water, and living animals and plants.

So, why are consumers throwing cameras away instead of recycling them? Primarily, people are concerned about the images and videos of family or friends that may still be on the device. This is a valid concern, which is why you should not throw the device away; instead, take it to a professional electronic recycling center that ensures any data from your camera is completely destroyed.

If you have any video recording devices that are outdated, broken, contain a toxic Lithium-Ion battery, or no longer serve any useful purpose, please recycle them—the environment will thank you for it!

How the Video Camera Recycling Process Works

The safest way to recycle a video camera is to take it to an electronic recycling center that accepts new donations and has a video camera recycling program. Once you give your video camera and other electronic devices to the appropriate recycling center, the recycling process may include the following stages:

  1. Disassembly: The video camera is completely disassembled, and the different parts are sorted according to the usefulness of the components (if they can be reused).
  2. Data Destruction: The video camera’s hard drive is degaussed or wiped clean using a magnetic device, which destroys all data.
  3. Shred: Some components are then shredded and either separated for further recycling or discarded to reduce their impact on landfills.
  4. Separation: Most recyclable material is separated from the various components via water or magnetic separation so that it can be collected and repurposed.

Factors to Check Before Recycling

If you have images, videos, or other data on your camera, always download and save files that you want to keep before taking them to a recycling center. 

Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions (or the many Internet tutorials) to learn how to transfer video files from your camera to a memory device such as an external hard drive or a flash drive.

Some old cameras contain SSD storage devices or a very old VHS-style capture card that can be plugged into a computer.

Lastly, ensure that you donate your camera’s accessories, including charging cables or charging docks—these can also be recycled or reused!

Where to Find Video Camera Recycling Services in Michigan

High Tech Recycling proudly offers video camera recycling and data destruction services in  Detroit, MI, and surrounding areas. Since our founding, we’ve been committed to protecting our communities’ beautiful waterways and landscapes. If you’d like to help us achieve this mission, contact us today to schedule a pickup or stop by any time during business hours to drop off your old video cameras!

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