Electronics Recycling Guide
by Barb Hopkins
Electronics recycling can help conserve resources and reduce landfill waste. Electronics contain many materials that are potential health risks. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that potential risky materials include lead, cadmium and mercury.
Proper e-waste recycling is important — keeping electronics such as laptops out of landfills actually can save electricity. According to the EPA, one million recycled laptops save the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in one year.
Electronic equipment recycling is available for televisions, computers, VHS/DVD players, cell phones and more. At epa.gov, you can find a searchable list of companies participating in the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) program — search by company name or type of electronic device.
The Samsung television you bought from Sears can be recycled through the take-back program from Samsung. Manufacturers with recycling programs like Samsung’s are working toward creating a greener, healthier world.
Whether you need to recycle a CRT television or LED TV, your local electronics recycling centers can help. To locate a center in your area, visit a site such as Earth911. Click on the icon labeled “electronics.” Select “all electronics,” and then from the next menu, choose which television set you’d like to recycle. Click the “search” button to find the closest electronics recycling center. Another website that helps locate the closest e-waste recycling centers is eCyclingCenter.com.
Several companies accept computers as well as laptops for electronics recycling. To find a location near you, use the same searchable list the EPA provides for television recycling. In addition, you can use the searchable databases available at Earth911 and eCyclingCenter.
Sears and Sears.com offer a large selection of the latest Blu-ray players, ideal for pairing with a new LED high-definition television set. However, don’t just trash your old VHS or DVD player. Keep it out of the landfill by recycling it at a local e-waste recycling center. If it still works, consider donating it to a local charity, school or nursing home.
Cell phone technology continually advances. Often after buying a new cell phone, the old one ends up a drawer or even in the garbage. Cell phones and their charging devices can be recycled through the agencies listed at the EPA, or you can find recycling options at the CTIA Wireless Association. In addition, many local cell phone carriers offer recycling and some even have trade-in options. You also can donate an old cell phone to a local charity.