An estimated 50 million tons of e-waste is produced every year, with more than 2 million tons from the United States alone. The amount of waste generated- especially from cell phones - is expected to grow dramatically in the coming decades. The EPA estimates that only 15-20% of that waste is recycled, but this is becoming easier to do.
If you have an old cell phone, computer, TV or other household electronic that you are ready to throw out, stop! It can be refurbished and reused or dismantled for proper disposal. Your options include:
- Retail Store Programs - Many large electronics retail chain stores and mobile companies, like Best Buy, OfficeMax, Office Depot, Verizon, and AT&T sponsor free, in-store collection programs. In some cases, these occur sporadically, but in most cases, you can simply drop off an old gadget. A few retailers may charge a fee or accept only certain types or brands of equipment. Click here to see where you can donate your e-waste.
- Local Community Recycling Centers - Many municipalities now offer recycling programs for electronic waste. You may even be able to donate the item to a local organization or school in need. Learn about donating at our Donating Unwanted Items page.
- Private Recycling Companies - You can also take your electronics directly to a private recycling company. The company Eco-ATM hosts self-serve kiosks around the US. The kiosks evaluate your phone, mp3 player, or tablet and will offer to buy back the product for cash on the spot.
Click here to see where you can drop off your e-waste.