Organize and Recycle E-Waste

Here in Pennsylvania, the law of the lands says 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 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.

Organize and Recycle e-waste

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?

For a while some of the thrift stores like Goodwill were recycling everything including old CRT-style TV’s and monitors, but that’s no longer the case. You might find a community “anything with a plug” event, which is a great way to go. You can also reach out toe PAR Recycleworks in Philly at There is currently a decent market for the raw and otherwise hazardous materials in those old electronics, and some companies can make a money by responsibly recycling them. But you might have heard that the recycling landscape is changing worldwide, so before you cart your old TV to a recycler, call and check to be sure they are accepting your goods.

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. The only thing they y won’t take is old CRT monitors. But if you are turning in any other type of computer, 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. This will be really handy when you organize that old rat’s nest of cords.


organizing and recycling e-waste 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. Over the years I’ve found this information changes frequently, so even if you didn’t find a recycler for your things last year, try again.

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.

The one thing you don’t want to do is organize your gear, and then set your old electronics in the basement (or garage or elsewhere). We know for sure it won’t get recycled there!

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. Thank you.


This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Elianne

    Thank you for this hugely important article.
    I learned from this and I already try to be on top of toxic waste recycling for my house and neighbors. I tell neighbors to leave their batteries in my mailbox and twice a year I collect their paint cans, electronics, etc. and drive it to a toxic waste recycling center. That said, I do have a tower and 2 old laptops around the house. Great ideas here!

    1. Darla

      Thanks for caring for your things and our environment. I (and my grandchildren, when I have them in 20 years or so) appreciate it.

  2. Amy Dawson

    Update your info with the following, please? This applies to suburban Philadelphia region.


    March 30 9:00 – 12:00 Upper Chichester Township
    Public Works Bldg.
    8500 Furey Road
    Aston, PA 19014

    April 6 9:00 – 12:00 Thornbury Township
    345 Glen Mills Road
    Glen Mills, PA 19342

    April 13 8:00 – 11:00 Concord Township (residents only)
    675 Smithbridge Rd.
    Glen Mills, PA 19342

    April 20 9:00 – 12:00 Willistown Township (residents only)
    688 Sugartown Rd.
    Malvern, PA 19355

    April 20 9:00 – 12:00 Middletown and Upper Providence Twps.
    Promenade at Granite Run Mall
    Media, PA 19063

    April 27 9:00 – 12:00 Montgomery Township
    1001 Stump Road
    Montgomeryville, PA 18936

    April 27 9:00 – 12:00 Chadds Ford Township (residents only)
    10 Ring Road
    Chadds Ford, PA 19317

    May 4 9:00 – 12:00 Upper Dublin Township (residents only)
    801 Loch Alsh Road
    Ft. Washington, PA 19034

    May 11 9:00 – 12:00 Tredyffrin/Easttown Townships
    Wilson Farm Park
    500 Lee Rd.
    Wayne, PA 19087

    May 18 9:00 – 1:00 Marple/Haverford/Newtown Twps.
    Delaware County Community College
    901 S. Media Line Road
    Media, PA 19063

    June 1 9:00 – 12:00 Skippack Township
    Palmer Park
    (Creamery Road)
    Collegeville, PA 19474

    June 1 9:30 – 12:30 Perkiomen Township (residents only)
    1 Trappe Road
    Collegeville, PA 19426

    June 8 9:00 – 12:00 East Goshen Township
    1661 Paoli Pike
    West Chester, PA 19380

    June 15 9:00 – 12:00 Abington Township
    Public Works Bldg.
    2201 Florey lane
    Abington, PA 19001

    June 22 8:00 – 12:00 Towamencin Township
    1340 Valley Forge Road
    North Valley High School
    Lansdale, PA 19446

    June 22 9:00 – 12:00 Lower Merion Township (residents only)
    1300 Woodbine Avenue
    Penn Valley, PA 19072

    September 21 9:00 – 12:00 Bethel Township (residents only)
    1092 Bethel Road
    Garnet Valley, PA 19060

    October 12 9:00 – 12:00 Upper Chichester Township
    Public Works Bldg.
    8500 Furey Road
    Aston, PA 19014

    October 12 8:00 – 10:00 Concord Township (residents only)
    675 Smithbridge Road
    Glen Mills, PA 19342

    October 19 9:00 – 12:00 Chadds Ford Township (residents only)
    10 Ring Road
    Chadds Ford, PA 19317

    WAYNE, PA — Tredyffrin and Easttown townships along with eForce recycling are partnering up to give area residents a chance to safely and responsibly get rid of electronic products in May.

    From 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 11, residents and small business with fewer than 50 employees can recycle electronics in Wilson Farm Park in Wayne.

    TVs and Computer monitors will cost $30 to recycle, while small appliances, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, dorm refrigerators, and microwaves will cost $10 to recycle.

    Console/projection televisions will cost $100.

    eForce will provide coupons of equal or greater value provided for all TVs or monitors charged to that person, which allows them to apply it toward the purchase of an item at their retail facility or apply it toward a service, such as computer repair, at their location.

    Accepted items include laptops, peripherals, typewriters, telephones, microwaves, cameras, cell phones, calculators, dehumidifiers, computers, mice, small appliances, fax machines, keyboards, printers, and air conditioners.

    All data media will be destroyed or wiped.

    Smoke detectors and large appliances will not be accepted.

    Wilson Farm Park is located at 500 Lee Road.

    1. Darla

      Great additional info. Thanks for sharing.

      1. Amy Dawson

        Happy to help, Darla. 🙂

  3. Susan M.

    Know, too, that Maryland has huge recycling centers open most days all day. I’ve used the one in Cockeysville, north of Baltimore, and finally got rid of a huge plasma TV that I thought would decorate my garage forever. Free. It’s a big outdoor site, and you pull in and over to specific stations for categories of recycling. No “rejection police”! 😁 Near a great shopping center with an Eileen Fisher outlet and lots of other interesting shopping.

    1. Darla

      Susan, good info. Thanks for sharing. On a side note, I hope you aren’t suggesting that folks have to go out of state to recycle. The recycling industry is currently in flux. I’m hoping that some virtuous folks start a viable recycling process here in our part of the world, to both eliminate waste responsibly AND to put pressure on the manufacturers to make better choices about the entire lifecycle of our stuff. Consumers rarely think about the very last part of the consumer goods chain, but we’re living with it’s consequences, and will continue to do so.

Comments are closed.