Electronic waste, or e-waste, is any waste that has a circuit board or a cathode ray tube (CRT). Electronics contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium or mercury that are harmful to human health and can pollute our air, land and water if thrown in the garbage. Plus, many of the components used in electronics can be recovered and recycled.
- Audio equipment, including CD and MP3 players, radios, speakers, stereos, and remote controls
- Computers, including laptops, tablets, CPUs, and monitors
- Computer equipment and peripherals including keyboards, speakers, printers, and fax machines
- Desktop printers, scanners and copiers
- Data storage devices, including USB and external hard drives
- DVD players and VCRs
- Game consoles and handheld game systems
- Stereos and portable media players
- Tablets and e-readers
- Telephones, including cell phones, cordless phones and answering machines
- Video equipment, including cameras and camcorders
To reduce the amount of electronic waste you create, consider the impact of the items you intend to buy. Try to purchase items with a long life. Consider purchasing used electronic items if possible. If you’re considering electronics as a gift, make sure the person really needs the new item and seek out less-wasteful alternatives.
If an electronic item you no longer use still works, try to re-gift the item, sell it or donate it to a local organization. Ask if a local charity would like your items before donating. Donating electronics to a charity that can’t use them puts the burden of disposal onto them.