ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

E-Waste Programs vs. Recycling: Which is better for you?

Updated on May 9, 2013

E-Waste Programs

With everyone striving to be greener and more aware of what they throw out, there has been a need for electronics waste disposal programs but what are they all about?

The E-waste programs are all based on the same concept: take in broken and unwanted electronics and make a major profit processing them while disposing of the components in a safe manner. This means that any person or consumer can take in most household electronics and drop them off for free at many different businesses and companies. Sounds nice, right?

The rules, however, aren't as cut and dry as we would like. There are strict guidelines you must follow to drop of many electronics. All electronics must be whole (no dismantled or crushed items), many places will only take in one or two printers at a time before they charge you (average charge for printer disposal is $5) and game consoles and many appliance type items are not accepted.

Once you have dropped off acceptable items at an e-waste participating company the items are boxed up and shipped out to a processing plant. Most of the items will be broken down or dismantled and the components will be removed. The components have valuable metals in them and are further processed down to make a huge profit.

Recycling your electronics

If you want to get the most out of your old electronics you can process them down and recycle them yourself, this means work. All electronics have valuable components that make them work from the power cord, circuit boards, power supplies and even the steal or aluminum casings.With counter top appliances you will also have motors.

By taking the time to process down your electronics and small appliances yourself you can make some money while helping the environment. However, you will have some waste that you will still need to throw out like any extra plastic, unless there is a local business that will take the plastic for free. It does take time! To get the best return you will need to cut cables, unwind copper, remove plastic, steel and aluminum, and separate out all the components.

If you only have one item, in my opinion and experience, processing it yourself is not worth it. The more weight you have in circuit boards and cables and more money you will walk away with.If you don't have much but don't want to go to an e-waste participating business you can process down your electronics and put the components in boxes. This way you can add to your boxes as time goes by and once they are full take them into your local recycling center.

Which is better for you?

Here is the tough part. You need to figure out how many items you have, how much time you can spend dismantling them and if it is profitable for you. Money is money, we all know that but it comes down to knowing if you need the money you could make or if the money is worth it to you personally.

If you work a full time job and don't want to spend your days off taking apart things, then no recycling components yourself is not worth it. However, if you are a stay at home parent, retired, or working part time and could use or just want some extra money then this could be a great way to earn a little extra and give yourself a hobby.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      5 years ago from Chicago Area

      I would probably never try to recycle by taking apart old e-waste. That's wasting another valuable resource: time. As well, many old electronics can be turned into companies such as and refurbished for resale or otherwise recycled.

      What I'm encourage to see are the trade-in programs offered by many mobile phone and electronics retailers.

    • Onlinestrategies profile image


      5 years ago

      Electronic waste posses a great health hazards which makes it necessary to recycle them safely.


    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)