E-Cycling Programs: Where Old Electronics Go to Die


Despite valiant attempts to extend the life of our electronics, eventually they pass the point of no return and bite the dust. Environmental responsibility prevents us from dumping them in the trash to be carted off to the local landfill (thank goodness), but what do we do with them? The National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER) has some answers.

NCER, an organization responsible for tracking such things, claims that “except for California, every [electronics recycling] program tracked by the NCER saw a per capita increase between 5 and 50 percent.” In other words, people appear willing to recycle old or broken answering machines, computers, printers, monitors, TVs, and so on if they know where to dump the stuff.

Many larger cities and towns have “e-cycling” programs in place with standard pick-up or drop-off times each month for residents who want to clean out the attic or garage of the wiry junk they’re not using. If your township doesn’t have a standing schedule, NCER still might be able to hook you up. Enter your zip code the homepage of its website to get the 411 on local recycling centers in your area.

To get a broader overview of the e-cycling process, click around the website and check out some of the links. For instance, there are two main ways to recycle electronics. The first involves manually dismantling each product and re-purposing the components whenever possible. Oddly, the second method is to simply shred them in a giant machine. Who knew?

Just about any type of electronic product can be recycled, but if it’s old cell phones you’re trying to get rid of there might be a better way than dropping off wherever old toasters go to die. Consider donating them to Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine to be updated, fixed, and given to victims of domestic abuse.

Image: Extra Ketchup