Recycling your old electronics

When people think of recycling, visions of cardboard boxes and plastic bottles usually come to mind.  Nevertheless, many individuals may be surprised to learn that electronics can be reprocessed as well.

So what electronics can you recycle? In all honesty, it depends on the location. Most recycle centers will take computer monitors, televisions, CPU's (Central Processing Units), laptops, printers, keyboards, computer mice and cables. In addition, camcorders, answering machines, copiers, fax machines, hard drives, modems, pagers, radios, remote controls, stereos, telephones, telephone equipment, tape players, VCRs, video games, PDAs and printed circuit boards can usually be brought in as well.

At this point, you may be asking yourself - are there any electronics that these places won't accept? Unfortunately, there are a few. Large household appliances like refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners will be turned away due to sheer size. Other items that aren't allowed include microwaves, toasters, fans, lamps, vacuum cleaners and specialty cookers.

Many local recycling centers will post their guidelines online, so refer to each center's website for information regarding what they can and cannot take. Keep an eye out for special community events being held throughout the year that will help you dispose of items that may not normally be taken.

Websites like My Green Electronics, Tech Soup, Earth 911 and EcoSquid are all excellent resources for recycling information both locally and throughout the country. They will also help explain the best options for reselling or donating your old goods in order to make sure they don't end up in a landfill.