How to Recycle your Old Electronics

Did you know that electronic waste is fastest growing waste stream globally?

The EPA estimates that only 15 to 20 percent of e-waste is recycled, the rest of these electronics go directly into landfills, incinerators and are illegally exported to developing countries. This is dangerous because many electronic components possess extremely toxic elements, including lead, beryllium, mercury, arsenic, nickel and cadmium.

The Recycling Committee and Riderwood General Services are now sponsoring Electronics Collection Days – the most recent was held during April 2023.  The collections are managed by A Better Way Computer Recycling, a local electronics recycling company.  (CLICK on the image to view the last flyer full size.)  The next Electronics Collection will be held in the Fall of 2023.

Here are the detailed lists of acceptable and unacceptable items:
Acceptable Electronics      Unacceptable Electronics

There are two local, non-profit, organizations that will scrub and refurbish your not-too-ancient computer and donate it to organizations and individuals who otherwise could not afford it:   The Lazarus Foundation in Columbia (PCs) and Phoenix Computers in Rockville (PC, Mac).  For questions about donating to Lazarus Foundation, contact Riderwood resident Rich Loughlin ; his contact information is available in the Resident Directory on MyErickson.

For general information, this article contains most of the basics about the importance of recycling your electronics:

Family Handyman: 10 Things You Should Know About Recycling Electronics. (PDF as of 11/18/2021)

Maryland eCycle — For state-wide information about recycling your electronic devices.

Best Buy — The closest location to drop off your electronic devices and accessories.  The website lists all the electronics they accept, and a FAQ describes how they are recycled.

Staples — Also recycles electronics at local stores.

If dropping off any equipment at Staples or Best Buy, BE AWARE THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR REMOVING ANY PERSONAL DATA FROM YOUR DEVICES.  To learn how to remove personal information from your device before you drop it off, check out
NY Times Wirecutter: How to Securely Wipe your Computer, Phone, or Tablet. (PDF as of 1/31/22)

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