To address the increasing amount of e-waste, many state and local governments, electronics manufacturers, and non-profit organizations have created comprehensive recycling programs. Several states, including California, Maine, Maryland, Texas and Washington, have even enacted laws requiring the collection of certain electronics.
E-waste recycling options vary across the country. So, the first step to determine what options are available in your area is to review information about your local recycling program. This information is available on Earth 911 (using the recycling locator database at the top of this page), some local government Web sites and the following Web sites:
- E.P.A. Product Stewartship
- National Recycling Coalition
- E Recycling Central (includes a list of questions to ask recyclers)
- Basel Action Network
- Computer Take Back Campaign
After determining what options are available, it is important to determine whether a recycler is operating under strict environmental controls and high worker safety protections. A few general questions to ask include:
- Is the recycler certified (such as an ISO 14001 environmental management certification) and does it follow a set of industry recognized guidelines?
- Does the recycler actually recycle most of the e-waste materials collected (It is best if the company can recycle 90 percent or more of the materials)?
- Does the recycler have written procedures for removing and disposing of mercury lamps in electronic products? Many manufacturer and government sponsored programs have extensive online information detailing the way in which recycling is handled.
However, this should be a factor regardless of what one does with an old computer because electronic data can be retrieved from hard drives. There are many options (such as software) to ensure that the data is permanently erased.
In fact, many recycling firms will scrub the hard drive and certify that all data has been erased. Before sending your computer to a recycler, check to verify that this option is available.
Manufacturer Specific Programs
- Toshiba Trade-In and Recycling Program
- Lenovo/IBM (will also accept other e-waste of other computer manufacturers)
- Circuit City (Easy-trade in program)
- Best Buy
- Staples (accepts computers, monitors, laptops, and desktop printers, faxes and all-in-ones)
- EPA Plug-In Partners (lists manufacturers, retailers and service providers that offer recycling of e-waste)
- EPA—lists options for donating or recycling e-waste
- Techsoup—lists non-profit organizations and recyclers of e-waste
- Goodwill (some locations accept computers)—Web site includes tips on how to donate computers
Cell Phone Recycling/Donation
- Motorola (accepts all brands for free)
- Nokia (accepts all brands for free)
- Call to Recycle
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (donation of cell phones)
- Call to Protect
- Verizon Wireless (accepts phones at Verizon stores)
- AT&T Wireless (accepts phones at AT&T stores)
- T-Mobile Wireless (accepts phones in stores and by mail)
- Sprint Wireless (accepts phones in stores and by mail; recycling proceeds go to charity)
The above article was placed on this blog in order to help our environment. It was obtained from Earth 911 and I did not create this article. Please check out Earth 911 as they have a lot of useful articles.