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.

For general information, this article contains most of the basics:  
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.

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 these organizations, contact Riderwood residents Rich Loughlin (Lazarus Foundation) or Bert Kaplan (Phoenix Computers); their contact information is available in the Resident Directory on MyErickson.

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.

BE AWARE THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR REMOVING ANY PERSONAL DATA FROM YOUR DEVICES PRIOR TO DISPOSING OF THEM.  Disposal paths may not be secure and, while unlikely, it is possible that miscreants could recover data from discarded devices.  To learn how to remove personal information from your device before you recycle it, check out
NY Times Wirecutter: How to Securely Wipe your Computer, Phone, or Tablet. (PDF as of 1/31/22)

Questions?  Would you like to volunteer to help other residents recycle their electronics?  Send email to