Drive up and down any local neighborhood street right before a scheduled trash pickup and you’ll probably see curbs lined with televisions, computers, and other electronic equipment that people are tossing out. That’s a shame, really, because up to 95% of e-waste can be recycled by facilities that specialize in doing so. When left for curbside pickup, 100% of e-waste goes into landfills.

Did you know that most electronics contain special metals such as cobalt and tin, in addition to precious metals like silver, gold, and platinum? Then there’s the plastic and glass that can be recycled. When electronics aren’t recycled, all of these metals are basically “lost,” which means new materials must be mined or manufactured instead reusing recycled materials. The mining and manufacturing processes often put an additional strain on the environment.

What can you recycle when it comes to e-waste? Each municipality in the Bay Disposal & Recycling service area has different guidelines. It’s best to check your city’s website to find out not only what can be recycled, but where you can drop these items off. However, in most cases, e-waste may include personal computers, laptops, tablets and cables; computer monitors, towers, external drives, and accessories such as mice, keyboards, web cameras, etc. Printers, faxes, scanners and/or multi-functional devices are also included, as are televisions.

Once you’ve gathered all of the e-waste materials you’d like to recycle:

  • Wipe data off your devices. Computers and tablets often have a redundant file storage system. So even if you delete a file, the information can still be pulled from your hard drive. Check with your manufacturer or do an internet search to find the best way to remove all data from what you’ll be recycling.
  • Find a drop-off site. Check the website for the municipality in which you live. They should list not only what materials are accepted, but where you can take your electronics to be recycled.
  • Drop materials off. Some facilities may charge a fee to accept e-waste. Your town’s website should also list if there are fees involved or not.

Bay Waste & Recycling is committed to keeping the environment safe for this generation and the next. Join us in our efforts by taking a little extra care to recycle your e-waste.