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Facts on Recycling Electronics

Updated on July 3, 2012

Retasking or Reusing items is Recycling!

Who doesn't have a few old computers lurking around the house.  I think these both are my wife's.
Who doesn't have a few old computers lurking around the house. I think these both are my wife's. | Source

'most Everybody has Electronic Trash


Hardly any household is free from old electronic debris. Whether it’s an old phone, tv, computer, battery, or gaming console, there’s something laying around that you don’t need, want, or use.

While most cities have recycling programs that will take some of these items, you may want to explore other avenues. Some of the things you think of as junk can be used another way.

Recycling Toner or Ink Cartridges Can Earn You Cash


First, most office supply and electronics stores offer bonuses or rebates if you trade in your used ink or toner cartridges; most of the time you don’t even have to be buying more of these products from them to receive the offer. It’s a win-win: you save money, the landfill stays happy.

Send Your Phone to Afghanistan


Phones make up another frequently chunked item. While most phone retailers offer trade-ins and rebates for trading in your old phone, there are often other programs that you can give your phone to. Phones to be used by military personnel stationed overseas or similar programs often have bins sitting around at supermarkets waiting for your old phone.

Antique Consoles Look Weird on Flat Screens

Your Magnavox Odyssey or Atari 2600 will look pretty weird on a flat screen.  That is, if you can even find an adapter to make it work.
Your Magnavox Odyssey or Atari 2600 will look pretty weird on a flat screen. That is, if you can even find an adapter to make it work. | Source

Donate that Old TV and Console


Now with the wave of new flat-screen TVs, you may think that your old CRT-model is worthless. You can still take a tax write-off for donating them to groups such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army. What they can’t use, they recycle. Your old TV may make someone’s $25 find. Combine that with an Atari or Nintendo that you still have in the attic and you’ve made someone’s day.

Donate that PC or Turn it into a MAME Machine


Computers make up another pile of useless electronics in most households. While that ancient PC might not do you any good, there are programs that will refurbish it for use by the underprivileged overseas or domestically. Alternatively, it may make the heart of someone’s Multi Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME) machine. Old PC plus a cabinet and a lot of work and you have a cool arcade machine.

Sell and Recycle those Batteries


Batteries have long been a problem. Car batteries left lying outside degenerate and the acid spills into the ground; the lead, a toxic, heavy metal, can then leech into the soil. It’s bad news. You’ve probably found batteries in old electronics that have self-destructed and corroded the electronics themselves into uselessness. Virtually every place that sells batteries now has a recycling program of some sort. Car batteries can often be worth a pretty good penny when sold for recycling.

Steps for Responsible Recycling


1. Recycle working electronics by donating it to someone who can use it.

2. Donate broken pieces to places that can repair or remanufacture them.

3. Reuse peripherals or other components that can be reused.

4. Recycle components that cannot be repaired.

5. Dispose of non-recyclable waste responsibly

What Happens to the Remainder?


  • Most CRT monitors go to lead smelters were the lead is re-smelted and the glass is recycled.
  • Plastic pieces are recycled for use items such as retaining blocks and pothole mix. .
  • Metal components will be separated and sold for scrap.

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    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 5 years ago from Southern California

      Very interesting.

      We recycle today, there is the trash bin, the recycle bin and the yard bin.

      What we are missing is the electronics bin. Maybe it could be collected once a month or once a quarter.