July 01, 2008 by Steven Castle
I hear it all the time: “I have a basement or garage filled with old electronics, and I don’t know what to do with them.” Bring them to an electronic recycler, or course. So how do you find one near you?
There are some web sites that provide e-cycling listings, such as the CEA’s mygreenelectronics.com. Now the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA’) is on board with its E-cycling Central, with a new state-by-state database of more than 2,000 electronics recycling locations in the United States. TIA says E-cycling Central connects both businesses and consumers with programs that accept electronics at the end of their life cycle through a free, searchable database sorted by state, zip code or national program.
Many of the listings on E-cycling Central are municipal (landfill) operators, but if your city or town doesn’t take electronic waste, you may be able to find a private e-cycler in the area. Also watch for local hazardous waste collection days that take CRTs, computers and some appliances. Some private e-cyclers also run promotions in which you can deliver your old electronics to them for free. Remember to destroy all personal information from hard drives and the such, or ask how the e-cycler does that. “Your recycler should be able to provide written certification that the data was ‘wiped’ or storage media destroyed, as well as a record of the methods used,” E-cycling Central advises.
The site also provides some valuable information about what to ask recyclers, as well as links to other e-cycling resources sites such as the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation’s Call2Recycle, Lamp recycle.org and the EPA’s Plug Into Ecycling. Another useful site for finding recyclers of products containing mercury, such as CFLs, is here.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates
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