Now that Christmas has come and gone, you might have a shiny new electronics gadget — and an old one that’s in need of disposal. Instead of tossing it in the trash, consider one of several recycling options.
The EPA’s website is a comprehensive recycling resource. You can search for a local recycling program in your area. Or try Best Buy, which “accepts most electronics, including TVs, DVD players, computer monitors, cell phones and more. Consumers can bring in up to two items a day per household.” Recycling kiosks located in each store are also great places for cell phones, rechargeable batteries and inkjet cartridges.
You can also check with your item’s manufacturer. Numerous brands, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, LG Electronics, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Sprint, Staples, Toshiba and Verizon offer various recycling programs to collect items that are either reused in newer equipment or recycled. Drop-offs are typically available in-store, and some companies will also provide postage-paid bags in which you can send back a smaller item.
It may take a little extra legwork, but the environmental payoff is huge. Dumping electronics in landfills can lead to a myriad problems, including lead contamination. The problem is so pervasive, in fact, that several states are considering banning the placement of certain electronics in landfills.
Next week, devices with screens that are larger than 4 inches are banned from West Virginia’s landfills as part of an ongoing effort to divert electronic scrap materials.
If you have any other tips for recycling electronics, we’d love to hear them!