A Short Guide to Electronic Waste Recycling

It can be very tempting to throw obsolete or broken electronics in the garbage can. However, recycling electronic waste is a far better alternative and still removes this e-scrap from your home. Properly recycling electronic waste prevents the heavy metals found in these products from contaminating our soil and water. But which electronics can be recycled? Here are the top three common types of e-scrap that are easily recyclable:

Cell Phones

There are 100 million cell phones purchased annually, and only 20 percent of those discarded are recycled. This means nearly 65,000 tons of this type of electronic waste accumulates annually. Cell phones have gold, silver, copper, and palladium that are easily recycled or sold back to cell phone carriers.

Computer Equipment

Almost 130,000 computers are thrown into landfills daily. However, computers and peripheral equipment from mice and keyboards to copy machines should never be dumped in a landfill. Nearly all the components of these items are valuable and recyclable, from plastics and metals to glass. A reputable electronic waste recycling program is crucial for the proper handling of these materials.


Goodwill and The Salvation Army no longer take analog televisions, and most municipalities prohibit the disposal of these items in landfills due to the amount of lead they contain. Fortunately, many manufacturers and retailers do take back and recycle old televisions for free. Also, check with your municipality regarding special disposal days or drop-off sites for this type of waste.

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