Where to Recycle Electronics
Electronic Waste, or eWaste or as it is called by those in the recycling trade, is more and more of an issue in the waste stream. Computers, mp3 players, phones, you name it – these items are produced in larger and larger quantities, and it all has to end up somewhere. According to Compucycle, 135 million phones and 31 million computers are disposed of annually in the United States alone. Many of these gadgets contain hazardous materials, such as lithium batteries, that can leach into groundwater or cause various other problems. Plus, many of the materials used in electronics, such as gold and copper, are valuable and in short supply. So you can see why it is important not to just toss old electronics in the trash; but at the same time, it can be hard to find a suitable and safe site to properly recycle old electronic items.
To help address this issue, for the second year in a row, GAF held eWaste collection events across many of our sites for Earth Day on April 22nd. I’m pleased to report that we collected more than 16 pallets and more than 10,000 lbs of electronics for proper recycling!
If you don’t work at GAF and need to recycle electronics, Goodwill is the best option in my experience. You can bring almost any old electronic item there (don’t forget old extension cords, they can be recycled too, and contain valuable copper) for recycling. In some cases you may need to pay or make a donation, particularly for hard-to-recycle items like older-style CRT monitors, which contain leaded glass. Staples, Best Buy, and many other electronics recyclers offer programs too. You may also check greenergadgets.org, a site maintained and supported by the Consumer Electronics Association (just like GAF supports shinglerecycling.org!).
Do you have old electronics that need recycling? Have you had challenges finding a suitable place?