Electronics Donation and Recycling
- Why Donate or Recycle Electronics
- Before Donating or Recycling Your Used Electronics
- Where to Donate or Recycle
Why Donate or Recycle Electronics?
Electronic products are made from valuable resources and materials, including metals, plastics, and glass, all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Donating or recycling consumer electronics conserves our natural resources and avoids air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by manufacturing virgin materials.
In 2006, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimated that:
- Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 U.S. homes in a year.
- For every million cell phones we recycle, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.
Read more in USGS's publication Recycled Cell Phones—A Treasure Trove of Valuable Metals (pdf).
Before Donating or Recycling Your Used Electronics
- For your computer or laptop, consider upgrading the hardware or software instead of buying a brand new product.
- Delete all personal information from your electronics.
- Remove any batteries from your electronics, they may need to be recycled separately.
- Lithium-ion batteries and devices containing these batteries should NOT go in household garbage or recycling bins. To learn more about proper disposal of batteries.
- Check for recycling facilities in your state or community.
Where to Donate or Recycle
Manufacturers and retailers offer several options to donate or recycle electronics. You can search for options on the following organizations' websites:
Disclaimer: These sites are listed for informational purposes only. U.S. EPA does not endorse any of these entities nor their services.