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to recycle electronic goods
There is a vibrant, for-profit secondary market for
recent models of laptop computers, desktop computers and cell phones because
these products retain significant value.
Computers, monitors, TV's and other electronic goods contain hazardous
materials which, when placed in a landfill, pose a threat to drinking
water and may result in other environmental hazards in the future. Lead
other metals and PCBs can be found in circuit boards, batteries can contain
lead, mercury, lithium and cadmium, and leaded glass is found in many
monitors. Plastics must also be handled carefully as they can contain
toxic fire retardants.
Virtually an entire computer can be recycled. From the glass in the monitor,
to the plastic in the case, to the copper in the power supply, to the precious
metals used in the circuitry. There are many organizations that can find a
new home for your computer—or at least recover some of the valuable
materials inside—before it reaches the garbage heap. These efforts benefit
both the environment and your community.
printers and hardware:
- Reuse. Pass it on. The first consideration
should be given to reuse. Upgrading an older computer, for example, reduces
the number of new machines entering the market. If upgrading is not feasible,
then the simplest solution to recycle your old computer. If your computer,
monitor or electronic item is in good working order, your local Thrift
Shop, Goodwill, Salvation Army, AmVets will likely accept it. Or you can
ask at a local school or put a notice on a community bulletin board offering
your computer free for the taking. Many people without a computer may
still find use with the word processor and basic programs.
- E-Cycling Central (US) - simply click
on your location on the map to find a recycling center in your area. Guidelines
are also offered to help you select the most appropriate recycler.
- Electronic Recycling
Association (Canada) - ERA collects old computers for donation and
recycling in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, and across Canada.
- National Cristina Foundation
(US only) - Working computers can be donated to this nonprofit organization,
which provides computer technology to people with disabilities, students
at risk and economically disadvantaged persons. (800) 274-7846
of the Children - Donate your outdated computers to
for its work in its Christian orphanages and soup kitchens for street
children in Russia and Mexico. (650) 967-6604
- National Technology Recycling
Project - constantly updated, this nationwide directory will help
you find a non-profit computer recycler closest to you.
- Computer Recycling Center - will accept
your old laptop (by mail) and will pay for the shipping if the laptop
is working. If you live in the SF Bay area, they also accept drop-off
- eBay's Rethink Initiative
helps consumers and businesses learn about the different product disposition
alternatives, such as recycling and refurbishing. Options are available
for both working computers and obsolete or non-working computers. more
the Technology Computer Recycling Project - provides a searchable
national computer donation database to connect computer donors and charities
Recycle - for a small fee, you can have old computer equipment picked
up for recycling. 'Coupon' points are available from HP towards future
- has compiled a comprehensive body of information to promote computer
recycling and reuse. This site provides resources for those who would
like to donate hardware, those who would like to acquire recycled hardware,
analyst Gartner estimates that in the U.S. alone, about 133,000 PCs per
day are currently being retired and replaced by their original owners.
phones and rechargeable batteries:
Depot will collect, free of charge, all old cell phones and used
rechargeable batteries for recycling, including Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd),
Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), and Small Sealed Lead
(Pb) weighing less than 2 lbs/1 kg. These batteries are also commonly found
in other portable office electronics products including cordless phones,
laptop computers, PDAs, digital cameras, and portable printers.
- Barclay T-Waste - recycling and
disposal program will recycle unwanted phones and equipment at no charge.
Usable parts will be recycled, unusable materials will be disposed of properly.
- Collective Good - how to donate
cell phones or other PDAs to the charity of your choice.
- Cell For Cash - this company
will pay you for the value of a reusable cell phone.
- Find Collection Location
by Brand Name - check here for manufacturers' local collection locations
for recycling cell phones and other wireless devices.
- Find Collection Location by Zip Code
- check here for local cell phone recycling locations.
Project Connect - check here for the nearest Sprint Store location to
recycle wireless phones and help raise funds for people with disabilities.
- Staples Store Locations
- cell phones, PDAs, pagers, and rechargeable batteries are accepted at
Staples stores for reuse/recycling by the CollectiveGood organization. more
- ReCellular - a global leader in the collection and recycling of cell phones. This service also provides a free online Data Eraser that removes all personal information from your cell phone prior to recycling.
A total of 500 million used cell phones weighing more
than 250,000 tons are estimated to be currently stockpiled, awaiting disposal.
(Source: INFORM, Inc.)
Related page: Recycling basics for the home
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