Frequent Questions

What is e-waste? Where can I recycle old computers and mobile devices?

“Electronic waste or e-waste refers to electronic products that have finished their useful life. Consumer electronic products include televisions and monitors, computers, computer peripherals, audio and stereo equipment, VCRs, DVD players, video cameras, telephones, fax and copying machines, cellular phones, wireless devices, and video game consoles.”

“The use of electronic products has grown substantially over the past two decades. Simple acts like donating used electronics for reuse extends the lives of valuable products. Recycling electronics also prevents valuable materials from going into the waste stream.” For information on Electronic Stewardship see the EPA’s Sustainable Management of Electronics page.                                                             

Where can I donate or recycle my old computer and other electronic products?

EPA’s Electronics Donation and Recycling website provides information on companies and drop off locations for donating and recycling your old PC, television, or mobile device. Check out our Secret Life of a Smart Phone infographic.

 The following non-EPA resources provide information such as recycling/donation programs by state Exit:

 State Electronics Laws

Twenty-five U.S. states currently have electronics recycling laws. The National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER) has developed an interactive map that helps to find out detailed information on state regulations, including a brief summary and link to the laws as well as key dates. Visit NCERs website to find out more about state electronics laws. Exit 

 Check with your state environmental agency as there also may be state regulations regarding the disposal of computer equipment.

For information on the EPA’s international efforts to combat e-waste see Cleaning Up Electronic Waste (E-Waste).

For more information, particularly regarding the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), see the Wastes FAQ Database.

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