ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Reduce E-Waste - How to Dispose of Your Old Electronics Responsibly

Updated on May 28, 2015

Are you making an effort to reduce e-waste and dispose of it responsibly? Before you throw your broken tv, old computer or unwanted radio on the trash pile, please consider the impact of your decision.

In 2008, Americans owned approximately 24 electronic products per household and that number may be growing as we become more and more reliant on new technology. Many of these items become outdated quickly. What happens to all of that old stuff when it's replaced with shiny new stuff?

Americans generate millions of tons of electronic waste each year and despite the fact that over 20 states now have recycling laws, tons of this toxic e-waste is still ending up in landfills. Toxins from its components, like lead, mercury, cadmium and more are leached into the environment.

Here are some suggestions for ridding yourself of unwanted items in a more environmentally friendly way.



Products in good working order should make their way into the hands of someone who will use them, but who will want the ones in need of repair?

Try the Goodwill. They've teamed up with Dell for a program called Dell Reconnect. They'll take the junk off your hands and recycle it responsibly. They'll accept things like scanners, printers, computers, Xbox consoles, keyboards and even cords and cables. You can search for a drop off location near you at the Dell Reconnect website. Some Goodwill locations may accept items like tvs and cell phones. Call your local store to learn if they'll accept those products.

Consider giving your old computer to Habitat for Humanity. In some locations, they've partnered with businesses that can refurbish computers that will be donated to families who have none. If items can't be repaired, they'll be recycled responsibly.

Join a Freecycle group in your area. List your unwanted items for free and someone in your community that has the skills to repair the items, or would like the parts, might take the old stuff off your hands.


If you're the handy sort, you might find some ways to turn your trash into something usable.



All recycling is good, right? Not necessarily. Companies have shipped tons of toxic e-waste overseas to be broken down by indigent workers, some of who are children. These untrained and unprotected workers and their communities are exposed to our toxic discards. Make sure your unwanted items don't become someone's headache by choosing reputable recyclers.

Best Buy offers an e-cycle program and promises to use only reputable companies to recyle your unwanted electronics. They'll take items like televisions, cell phones, computer monitors and more and recycle most of these at no charge.

Staples will reward you for bringing in your unwanted ink and toner cartridges and they offer free recycling of rechargeable batteries. They'll accept Dell computers, monitors and printers for recycling, free of charge but will ask a fee for other brands.

You can search for more responsible recyclers at the e-Stewards website. This certification program for responsible recyclers is an initiative of the non-profit organization, The Basel Action Network (BAN). The goal of the program is to create a network of responsible collection that will keep your e-waste from poisoning people or the environment.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Pollyannalana profile image


      7 years ago from US

      Donate is the way I go and needing to do that again soon, thanks for the reminder. Great hub!


    • saif113sb profile image


      7 years ago

      Very very nice and great information hub. thanks

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very well done hub with excellent information. Nice writing style too!!

    • RTalloni profile image


      7 years ago from the short journey

      Great tips you have here!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)