Instead of throwing away your used or outdated electronics, you can recycle them without taking up valuable space in our landfill or polluting our environment with the metals and other materials they are made of. The Solid Waste Authority wants your used or outdated electronics.
CONCERNS WITH ELECTRONICS
Electronics have become a large waste stream. They may contain small amounts of toxic materials such as lead, mercury and cadmium and precious metals such as gold. The good news is they are also highly recyclable as they are primarily made of ferrous metal and plastics.
EXAMPLES OF ELECTRONICS WE COLLECT
There are thousands of electronic devices today that have made our lives more convenient and enjoyable. But care must be taken when disposing of these items when they have outlived their usefulness or new ones have been bought.
Audio/visual equipment, such as VCRs, stereos, etc.
Computer peripherals, such as printers, scanners, etc.
Telecommunications equipment, such as phones, fax machines, etc.
Please note, for oversized items, such as copiers or business electronics, call the Solid Waste Authority at 561-697-2700, or 866-792-4636 (toll-free), or email.
*Check with retailer or manufacturer first.
HOW ARE USED ELECTRONICS RECYCLED?
Collected items are sorted by SWA staff with smaller items into large pallet boxes and larger items directly on pallets and then shrink wrapped. When a trailer load is accumulated, a private contractor company hauls the load to a recycling facility. Any useful components are recovered and reused when possible. Everything else is fed into a large shredding machine which grinds the items into small pieces which are then sorted into base materials such as plastics, metals and glass. These are sold as commodities to be recycled into new products.
What to Do with Old Electronics
Interesting Facts About Electronics Recycling
The average lifespan of a desktop computer, for instance, is only 3 to 5 years (though some people may keep them longer).
Consumers may not keep a cell phone for more than 2 years before exchanging it for the newer version that offers more features.
Used electronics that are still in working condition can be donated to schools, nonprofit organizations, and lower-income families.
A recent study by the Consumer Electronics Association found that:
74% of consumers planning to purchase gifts this holiday season intend to buy consumer electronics as gifts.
Electronics sales will account for as much as 1/3 of all purchases.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency:
Electronic products are made from valuable resources and materials, including metals, plastics and glass, all of which require energy to mine and manufacture.
Donating or recycling consumer electronics conserves our natural resources and avoids air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by manufacturing virgin materials.
Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 U.S. homes in a year.
For every 1 million cell phones we recycle, 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.