How to Dispose ( Recycle ) of old, broken, and unwanted electronics

By Techwalla Contributor

Computers and other electronics contain cadmium, lead, and brominated fire retardants and plastics that do not decompose normally and have a toxic breakdown.Tossing electronics in the trash is not an 'out of sight out of mind' deal. it can definately come back and haunt you b/c it can lead the the contamination of local water supplies etc.

Step 1

Quite possibly the easiest way to get rid of old electronics is to list them on craigslist under the free section. Even broken electronics usually have valuable parts that can be salvaged or refurbed. Many people know how to "pick n' pull" electronics and make a living or supplement their income by doing so. I'm sure there are plenty of people who would be willing to take them off your hands. You could even try listing them for a small profit.This idea is great for someone busy or immobile b/c this takes the traveling part out of the equation most people from craigslist come pick the items up themselves.

Step 2

Stop by On the front page you will type in your zip code and it will help you locate the nearest recycling center or program near you. This site also provides info on how to properly remove your personal info before recycling electronics, how to verify if a center meets standards made by BAN (The Basal Action Network),and learn about corporate recycling programs.

Step 3

If your electronic is still in good working order it is likely that your local school district will take it is a donation. Also is the site for 'Vietnam veterans of America' they will come and pick up your donations for you. Also, local women's shelters usually accept cell phones so that abused women have emergency cell phones to call 911 with. PERK TO THIS OPTION: TAX DEDUCTABLE!

Step 4

BEST BUY has recycling kiosks in all of its stores. just go in and drop off free of charge they take everything from kitchen appliances to laptops. Just go in and ask an associate where the kiosk is located in your local store. office depot also has a similar recycling program, but you must purchase boxes in-store for larger electronics. Boxes between $5-15 dollars.

Step 5 is a comprehensive website that tell you everything you need to know about "E-cycling" including laws on the subject. Local resources are listed in the 'recycling basics' section of the site. To contact The National Center for Electronics Recycling send emails to

Tips & Warnings

  • When using craigslist, NEVER give out your personal information your ad there are many scam artists trying to steal identities and scam you that often respond to craigslist ads. Always opt for local pickup and always have the person pay in CASH. if you live alone meet the person in a public place to do the exchange so that no predators come to your home posing as interested buyers.