Recycle it Right
Guide To Recycling Your Electronics
If you want to get rid of electronic equipment that you no longer use and want to protect the environment, follow these steps:
Don’t put your old electronic products or batteries in the trash (even if it’s legal in your state). The toxics inside these products don’t belong in the landfill.
2. Donate for reuse if possible.
If your product can be reused, donate it to a reputable reuse organization, that won’t export it unless it’s fully functional. Some good organizations include the National Cristina Foundation or World Computer Exchange. Many e-Stewards (see #3 below) also refurbish.
3. Find a responsible recycler (an e-Steward) in your state.
But many recyclers simply export your old products, dumping them on developing nations.
Your best option is to use a recycler who is part of the “e-Steward” network; they don’t export to developing nations, and they follow other high standards. Many also will reuse and refurbish equipment.
Click here to find e-Steward recycler near you.
4. No e-Steward near you? Try the manufacturers’ free recycling programs
If there is no e-Steward near you, then you may want to use the manufacturer’s takeback program, although many don’t provide much disclosure about responsible recycling. Many of the electronics companies have voluntary takeback programs, where they will recycle your old products for free. Some offer trade-in value or money back for your products.
Click here for our list of the computer and TV manufacturers, and details on each program.
5. Still Can’t Find A Convenient Location? Try these retailers.
Staples. Staples takes back many electronics products for free recycling, thanks to their partnership with HP. They don’t take TVs or stereo equipment. One customer can drop off a maximum of 6 products per day. Staples works with a responsible recycler who is certified to the highest standards in the industry, called the e-Stewards standard.
6. Cell Phone Recycling
Cell phone recycling is very easy, since you can mail them back (for free) to some recyclers. Here are two good nationwide options, with companies that have signed the e-Steward Pledge not to export e-waste to developing countries:
Capstone Wireless – Use their website to request a free UPS shipping label. They have a buy back program, so you may get money back for your old phone.
Call2Recycle – The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp also accepts old cell phones for free recycling. They have drop off sites in many cities (usually in stores). Use their location finder to enter your zip code to find the closest.