Since we are perpetually updating our electronics from cell phones to PC’s our old electronics are somewhere out of sight, gathering dust or in a landfill where they can leak dangerous chemicals into the earth.
These potentially harmful substances include lead (large, old CRT [cathode-ray tube] monitors can contain up to 7 pounds), mercury, flame retardants, and cadmium.
Computer monitors, televisions and other electronic equipment should NOT be disposed of with regular garbage. Working TVs, monitors, computers and other consumer electronics can be sold or donated thereby prolonging their useful life. Nonfunctioning TVs, computer monitors and other obsolete electronics should be recycled by an organization equipped to handle them.
Here are a few options to help you dispose of those old electronics, in my case, I had three DVD players stop functioning in one year.
Office Depot (www.officedepot.com) is one place to dispose of your old A/V equipment. The Tech Recycling Service is Office Depot’s program to “turn tech trash into useful raw materials.” You can acquire a recycling box in one of three sizes: Small for $5, Medium for $10, and Large for $15. Check the list of Office Depot’s Acceptable Items before you fill your box—this is a wide-ranging list including DVD players, MP3 players, and cables, however, you cannot submit items such as cracked monitors, leaking electronics, or potentially radioactive material (of course).
At Earth 911, type the name of your electronic device in the search box next to Start Recycling. Then, fill in your ZIP code and click Go. Earth 911 produces an extensive list of locales that offer recycling services, accept donations, or facilitate reuse. Suggestions can include recycling companies, thrift stores, volunteer programs, national CE retailer branches, or academic institutions.