Recycling - Electronic Waste
Electronic waste, or e-waste, is an all-encompassing term that includes broken, or discarded electronic devices and parts. This includes computers and related equipment like printers, mobile technology like cell phones and tablets, and TVs and components like DVD players.
According to Consumer Reports, a United Nations study reported that 53.6 million tons of e-waste was discarded in 2019, and only 17.4 percent of it was disposed of properly.
Frequently, electronic waste is discarded as garbage and ends up in landfills. However, in Minnesota, you MUST recycle computer monitors, rechargeable batteries, televisions and components that contain mercury. They cannot go into the trash - it's the law! Click here for a list of registered collection sites in Minnesota. Type in your county to search for locations near you.
In many cases, valuable resources can be harvested and recycled for new electronics. For example, according to the EPA, for every million cell phones we recycle, 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold can be recovered!
Alternative options to landfill recycling:
- Use your items for as long as possible. They don't have to have all the newest bells and whistles to function.
- If you can't live without the latest and greatest, consider selling or donating your items. Just be sure to remove all your personal information first!
- Some retail stores and tech companies offer recycling programs - some for free.