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Climate For Action: Electronic Recycling

2009 April 28

About the Author: Loreal Crumbley, a senior at George Mason University, is an intern with EPA’s Environmental Education Division through EPA’s Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP).

The use of electronics has become a major factor in our everyday life. Sometimes I find myself carrying around three or four electronic devices at a time. Our society has changed into a fast paced electronic friendly culture. In the late 1980’s home computers were introduced to our society and less than 20 years later almost every home has a computer. The advancement in technology has allowed people to carry portable phones, computers and music devices. The manufacturing and use of electronics has dramatically increased. This increase in electronic use has also increased the necessity to recycle old electronics. Recycling electronics helps reduce the pollution that is created when manufacturers create new appliances. There are many ways to reuse and recycle these appliances.

Donating old electronics can be a good way to keep electronics from entering the waste stream. Donating used electronics to charity organizations will benefit low-income families that cannot afford electronic equipment. Electronics can also be donated to schools and other non-profit organizations.

States and local governments have been working with manufacturers on creating places to recycle and reuse old appliances. There are many places that you can take used electronic appliances such as local electronics retailers, repair shops, charitable organizations, and electronics recycling companies. Many manufacturers accept used appliances free of charge. I would suggest contacting the maker of your appliance and see what sort of recycling initiatives that they have. Here is a website that identifies local electronic recycling companies by just typing in your zip code http://www.eiae.org/ .

The manufacturing process of electronics uses lots of energy and resources. Essential resources like metal, copper, and plastics are always used in the manufacturing of electronics. By recycling electronics we will be able to reduce the amount of valuable resources used and recycle the used resources. For more information on recycling electronics please visit these websites:

http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/index.htm

http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/partnerships/plugin/recycleit.htm

If you know of any other cool places to drop off old electronics fill me in!!!

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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13 Responses leave one →
  1. Recycling permalink
    April 29, 2009

    Tool for finding local recycling centers or just learning how to recycle
    http://1800recycling.com/

    -Monty

  2. Loreal Crumbley permalink
    April 30, 2009

    Thanks, I will check that site out!!

  3. Josh - Computer Recycling Advocate permalink
    August 7, 2009

    Love the site! The EPA’s E-Cycling program is awesome, and I love the initiative to cut down on E-waste.

    Nice blog EPA!

    Josh
    http://www.ElectronicRecyclers.com

  4. Greg permalink
    October 5, 2009

    There are also a few companies out there that will pay you for your used electronics. If the items have resell value they sell them, which keeps them out of landfills. If they don’t have any value then they recycle them for you.

  5. Kevin permalink
    February 8, 2010

    I think this is a great blog I wish that more blogs from the EPA would come out about how much toxic wast there is in the various electronics that we use in our daily life’s.. you are very right about what you say about donating helping out low income family’s…

    Kevin

    http://CrossBytes.org/Computer-Recycling-Center

  6. Rich permalink
    February 9, 2010

    Some charity organizations will collect computers, working or not. If they have resale value, they will sell them. If not, they will recycle it. That maybe a good to get rid of your old computers.

    Rich

  7. Albert Robbins III permalink
    April 5, 2010

    Recycling of our old electronics should be at the forefront of our minds. Thanks for the post, I will be sure to pass it on as my company is a electronic recycler.

  8. computer recycling center permalink
    September 21, 2010

    I pretty much never comment on stories . . . but this one is exceptional. Thanks for posting this. It really makes sense the way you put it. Wish someone else had told me sooner.

  9. recycling permalink
    October 16, 2010

    Recycling is really becoming a big issue.thnx for your informative post.it really helped.

    steve

  10. shawn permalink
    October 24, 2010

    I like the site. Recycling is really becoming a big issue.

  11. kevin permalink
    December 1, 2010

    The speed in which we are purchasing and discarding electronics is unreal and these must be dealt with properly. Awareness is key.

  12. Sony NGP permalink
    February 22, 2011

    A good read, puts things into perspective. Will start recycling all my electronics from now on if and when I can. Including my pre-ordered … (NOT!)

  13. May 4, 2012

    A great post with out doubt. The information shared is of top quality which has to get appreciated at all levels. Well done keep up the good work.

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