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.

Riderwood Collection Days

The Recycling Committee and Riderwood General Services are now sponsoring Electronics Collection Days – the next will be on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 from 10AM-1PM. The collections are managed by A Better Way Computer Recycling, a local electronics recycling company certified for data destruction and proper recycling of electronic components.  (CLICK on the image to view the last flyer full size.)

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

Local Recycling Options

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.

Best Buy — The closest location (now temporarily in Laurel) 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 — Local stores also recycles electronics; their website lists what can and can’t be recycled.

How to Prepare a Computer for Recycling

There are 3 steps to prepare your old computer for recycling.

  1. Back Up Your Files: Back up any documents, photos, videos, and other files saved on your computer.
  2. Transfer Software: Ensure that any licensed software can be transferred to the new computer.
  3. Wipe Your Hard Drive: After backing up the necessary files, you then want to wipe the drive.

Here is an article that gives details on these steps for both PCs and Macs.

Ready to Recycle? How to Properly Prepare Your PC for Disposal | PCMag

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