Where to Recycle Your Electronic Waste

Recycling your electronics is tough. You can find them piled up around year house gathering dust. You know you can't just throw them away, but it can be hard to find places to take them.

Only 15% of electronic waste is recycled today. This leads to over 416,000 mobile devices and 142,000 computers end up in landfills and incinerators every day. Here's a guide on where you can properly recycle your electronic waste. 

  1. Local Places (recycle where)

    Most cities have local electronics recycling centers that accept e-waste for free or a small charge. Websites like RecycleWhere can help you locate places to recycle your used electronics. The EPI also provides a website for you to locate recycling programs. These are frequently the best option in terms of price and convenience.

  2. Best Buys

    Best Buy also provides a national recycling program. They have recycling kiosks in their stores in the US, as well as recycling in-store for no charge to you. They typically limit it to three items per family, per day. From there, they work with recycling companies to make sure the phones and other electronics don't end up in landfills.

  3. Charities

    Another good option for your electronic waste is charities. Programs like Recycle For Charities accept all different models and makes of cellular phones. They try to refurbish them before sending them to recycling centers.

  4. Tech Companies

    Tech companies such as Apple or Amazon offer trade-in programs that reward you with credit or discounts on new products. Apple will give you a gift card and Amazon will credit your account with money. Using company trade-in programs are a great way to earn money while recycling your electronics.

  5. Call2Recycle

    Call2Recyleis a no-cost recycling program for batteries and cell phones in the US and Canada. It has collection boxes that can be placed anywhere, which have shipping permits so mailing them is easy. They also have bulk shipping if there is a large amount of recyclables.

  6. Mail Back Programs

    Recycling Centers typically offer mail-back programs that will process your electronic waste for free. This method is typically for people who live further away from recycling programs. You will have to pay the shipping costs and you should call in with the recycling center to see if they accept the materials you are trying to send.

America's E-Waste Problem - 10 Staggering Facts

Electronic waste the fastest growing municipal solid waste stream. Most of the recoverable resources we use on electronics are wasted in landfills due to a lack of proper recycling infrastructure. Here are 10 Staggering Facts about our current electronic waste crisis.

  1. We generate over three million tons of electronic waste annually. 
  2. For every one million cell phones that are recycled, 35,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.
  3. Only 15% of electronic waste is recycled today
  4. Every day, over 416,000 mobile devices and 142,000 computers end up in landfills and incinerators.
  5. Over 40% of electronic waste is exported overseas
  6. There is more gold in a ton of electronic waste than a ton of gold ore.
  7. The amount of global e-waste is expected to grow by 8 percent per year.
  8. The average U.S. household spent $1,312 on consumer electronics products and owns twenty four electronic products. 
  9. Compared to disposal in landfills or by incinerators, reusing or recycling computers can create 296 more jobs per year for every 10,000 tons of computer waste processed.
  10. E-waste comprises 70% of our overall toxic waste




How to Recycle Your Old CRT Television in California

Cathode Ray Television (or CRT's) were widely used in the early 2000's but since then have all but been replaced with LCD Televisions. It's likely that you have them lying around in your house unused. Due to mercury contamination, the proper recycling of CRT's is more important than most of electronics. Because of this the state of California has included CRT's in the CEW statewide recycling program. This article will go over what is inside your CRT Television and how you should recycle them.


What are CRT TV's made of?

Older CRT models include various amounts of hazardous materials that are toxic in landfills and other waste streams if no recycled property. Older color and monochrome CRTs may have been manufactured with toxic substances, such as cadmium, in the phosphors. Other toxic wastes include leaded glass, mercury and beryllium. These toxins seep from landfills into water sources if disposed of improperly. Because modern electronic devices use far less toxic materials, it is especially important to recycle CRT with a responsible electronics recycling company

How are CRT TV's recycled?

CRT TV's can only be handled in California by facilities that have been inspected and approved by the Department of Toxic Substances or DTSC. Many approved electronic waste collectors deliver their CRT TV's to proper hazardous recycling facilities for dismantling. Rica Recycling has partnered with E-Recycling of California to handle their CRT TV waste streams. At these facilities, the TVs are dismantled into their raw components and separated into different groups. The hazardous materials are sent off for further treatment, while the non-hazardous materials are shredded and then sorted for further refining. 

Where can I recycle my CRT TV?

RecycleWhere.org is a great resource for finding a local recycling center to properly dispose of your electronics waste. Rica Recycling offers a free Drop Off Service at their Hayward facility and provides a Pick Up Service for businesses in the Bay Area. Please recycle your CRT TVs! They are the most common hazardous electronic waste items and the benefit to our environment and fresh water sources would be huge if they are kept out of our landfills. 

E-Waste and the Importance of Electronic Recycling

Society benefits from the increased production of new low cost digital gadgets. This explosive progress of electronics development has made e-waste a growing issue. E-waste is now the fastest growing municipal solid waste stream with over 41.8 million tons generated world wide. Various precious metals and valuable commodities such as copper and aluminum reside in electronic waste and metal recovery from electronics is often more efficient than from the mined ore itself. Yet, only 15-20% of electronics are recycled today. This leads to an accumulation of valuable reusable resources sitting in our landfills. 

What is e-waste?


The term "e-waste" is loosely applied to consumer and business electronic equipment that is near or at the end of its useful life. There is no clear definition for e-waste; but the general rule of thumb is that if the device uses electricity, it's probably electronic waste. This includes, gadgets like stereo, cellphones, televisions and dated laptop equipments that are typically no longer function or end-of-life (EOL). 

Why is electronics recycling essential?

Wealth of Raw Materials

An estimated $22 billion of gold alone may be recovered in e-waste worldwide. This is not including other resources such as silver, copper, aluminum, metals and plastics. 

Hazardous Materials

Electronic waste also contains many hazardous materials such as mercury, lead, chromium and cadmium. Taking your electronics to a certified recycler ensures that these toxic materials do no seep from landfills into water supplies and damage the local ecosystem.

Information Theft

Choosing a certified recycler means your identity will be protected. Certified recyclers facilities ensure that hard drives are either physically destroyed or wiped before being processed further.

Where can you recycle your electronics?

Bring it to a certified electronic recycler. Plenty of nonprofit organizations and local communities offer options to help you recycle old electronics. Rica Recycling offers a free drop-off for individuals and free business pick up services for organizations in the local bay area.