Organize and Recycle E-Waste
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organize and recycle e-waste

Here in Pennsylvania, a law just took effect that you may no longer place computers and other electronics at the curb with regular trash. This is good news for everyone, even if some folks are squawking about it being an “inconvenience.” New Jersey passed a similar law about five years ago. Even if your state hasn’t passed a similar law yet, please take steps to safeguard our habitat and water for our critters. And by critters, of course, I mean us.

So what should you do instead of hauling that monstrous old TV to the curb, you know, the one that’s been hiding in the basement for decades? What about the three VCRs that you still own? The four computer towers that you’ve been afraid to throw away since the ’90′s, in case you needed something off the old drive?

Many of the national and larger thrift stores will gladly take these items off of your hands. Here in the Philly/NJ area, both Goodwill and Impact Thrift will take working and non-working TV’s. Impact Thrift will even carry them away for you. In fact, many other thrift organizations want them, too. Why? Because there is now a decent market for the raw and otherwise hazardous materials in those old electronics, and thrift stores can make a money by responsibly recycling them.

Some retailers are even getting into the action. Best Buy has a pretty comprehensive recycling program, and they’ll take everything from old phones to computers for free. They still charge a nominal fee ($10, last I checked) to take in old CRT monitors, but they gave you a $10 gift card for them. Just be sure to remove and destroy that old hard drive like I showed you before you send old computers to recycling.

Best Buy also has a great recycling bin in the front of most stores where they will take everything from cords to disks. There’s just no reason to send these recyclables to the landfill, where they will stay for thousands of years. is a great resource, with their “Find a Recycling Center” always on their home page. You can just enter the type of item you want to recycle, and it finds a drop off point near you.

Your county or other municipality is also a great spot for recycling resources. Most counties I’ve ever lived in have periodic drop-off days, where they take all kinds of hazardous materials. This is true throughout the country.

If you have other odd items that you are trying to find another home or recycling spot for, remember to check out this handy guide to recycling almost everything.

Yes, getting new goodies is good, but please play along when you are done with your stuff, especially the electronic waste loaded with heavy metals and toxins, and send it to the right place when you are done with it.

Get Organized wishes to thank Darla DeMorrow for contributing this post. Darla DeMorrow is an award winning Certified Professional Organizer®, Color With No Regrets consultant, decorator, author, speaker, and owner of HeartWork Organizing. She helps her clients to reclaim control and add beauty in their lives, their homes, and their workplaces. Request your free 31 Simple Tips for Organizing Space, Time and Paper & Information at Her book for new moms, ”The Pregnant Entrepreneur”, is available in hardcopy and e-book.

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