Recycle Your e-Waste – Here’s How

Sometimes we want to do the right thing and recycle, but for some materials, we just don’t know how to go about it. Many of us don’t even know what electronic waste is, and we certainly don’t know what to do with it when we don’t want it anymore.

When in Doubt, Don’t Throw It Out!

It is illegal to throw away electronic waste in the regular garbage. If you can’t find it a new home, electronic waste must be recycled at an approved facility.

Check eRecycle.org for an approved e-waste recycling facility near you.

Health and Safety Concerns

Electronic waste contains hazardous materials, predominantly lead and mercury, and is therefore not only dangerous to our environment if disposed improperly, it is also a health hazard to people who have to handle it, such as waste management facility employees.

Other Recycling Options

If the item isn’t broken and is still usable, consider giving it a second life in your own home. Parents who upgrade their cell phones can give their older phones to children for use as music and gaming devices. If you’ve upgraded your microwave, consider moving the older one to an office or garage to use it there. If you are done with the device or appliance, consider donating it to a local nonprofit and giving it a second life. Many thrift stores will repair electronics for resale, so call and ask, even if your device appears to have given up the ghost.

Types of Electronic Waste

Here is a brief list of items that constitute electronic waste.

  • Computer monitors
  • Central processing units (CPUs)
  • Laptop computers
  • Printers
  • Cell phones, cordless phones, answering machines
  • Televisions (both flat screens and tube-types)
  • VCRs
  • Microwave ovens
  • Radios
  • Electric cords and miscellaneous accessories
— CalRecycle Staff
Posted on Apr 24, 2017

Summary: Sometimes we want to do the right thing and recycle, but for some materials, we just don’t know how to go about it. Many of us don’t even know what electronic waste is, and we certainly don’t know what to do with it when we don’t want it anymore.