Electronic Equipment

Electronic Equipment Facts
  • As of August, 2013, electronic equipment is exempt from universal and hazardous waste regulations.  However, electronics contain valuable recyclable commodities as well as hazardous materials that need to be managed properly.
  • Electronic equipment contains a variety of hazardous substances that require special disposal.  For example:
    • Cathode ray tubes and the glass found in computer monitors and television screens contain large amounts of lead
    • Circuit boards and electronic wiring contain lead, chrome and other metals
    • Relays and switches can contain mercury
    • PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) can be present in older, larger equipment, and can cause endocrine disruption and neorotoxicity
    • Some materials can be recycled as commodities, such as lead (Pb), silver (Ag), barium (Ba), cadmium (Cd), and mercury (Hg)
  • Most, if not all, of the components that go into manufacturing electronics do not decompose in landfills, nor will they be destroyed if combusted in a waste-to-energy facility--instead they will be distributed into the environment if not disposed of properly
  • Important materials and resources can be reclaimed from obsolete equipment if the equipment is properly recycled--either refurbished for reuse or destroyed responsibly.

How do I dispose of my used electronic equipment?