How to Recycle Old Electronics

Although many cell phone providers and consumer electronic stores offer discounts on returned electronics, many electronic devices end up becoming waste. Commercial electronics, including computers, keyboards, printers, etc., fill up landfills and contain substances that are harmful to the environment. These devices have many components that can be recycled, including plastics, glass, and metal. By taking old electronics to recycling centers or having large amounts hauled out, you will be doing your part in protecting the environment from toxic E-waste. Here’s how to recycle old electronics.

What is electronic waste or E-waste?

E-waste is the discarded electronic devices or equipment that get thrown out in the garbage. Electronic devices contain toxic substances, including lead, cadmium, chromium, and mercury, that are toxic to the environment if discarded carelessly. In fact, in 2013, Pennsylvania passed a law called the Pennsylvania Covered Device Recycling Act (CDRA) that states,

“Desktop computers, laptop computers, computer monitors, computer peripherals, televisions, and any components of such devices may no longer be disposed of in Pennsylvania with municipal waste. All of these devices are required to be properly recycled.”

Since electronic devices are developing exponentially, people purchase new devices sooner, leaving even more electronics to fill the landfills. The average household owns 24 electronic products, and that figure is expected to increase as consumer electronics become increasingly cheaper. The toxic chemicals in these devices will eventually breakdown into the soil and contaminate the environment. Once these chemicals get into the groundwater, it can eventually run off into nearby freshwater supplies, harming plants and animals.

Common E-waste items:

  • Desktop/laptop computers
  • Printers
  • Keyboards
  • Monitors
  • Televisions
  • Cellphones/tablets

Twenty-five states have passed electronic recycling laws, and many more will also within the next few years as electronic waste continues to contaminate our environment.

Where to recycle electronics in Philadelphia

So, how do you recycle old electronics now that you’ve gathered them? There are many recycling electronics options, including taking it to a local recycler, consumer electronics store, or donating working electronics to a charity or non-profit organization. 

E Force Recycling 

3114 Grays Ferry Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19146 

E Force Recycling accepts residential and commercial electronic products. E Force hosts collection events throughout the year for communities to bring their old electronics.


2209 S 58th St, Philadelphia, PA 19143

ECOvanta provides electronic recycling services for individuals and businesses. ECOvanta handles end of life devices and offers secure shredding to ensure devices are cleared.

PAR Recycleworks

342 E. Walnut Lane, Philadelphia, 19144 Pennsylvania, USA

PAR Recycleworks located in the Germantown area, is a non-profit organization that provides transitional employment to people returning from prison. PAR Recycleworks accepts old devices, free of charge.

Stores like Home Depot and Staples often have drop-off bins for small items, including cell phones and batteries. Call2Recycle provides a user-friendly navigation map to search for these drop off locations based on your zip code. Goodwill is also a great organization to donate electronics in working or non-working condition. Goodwill has partnered with Dell to offer electronic recycling, so participating Goodwill’s will gladly accept these devices. 

Commercial E-waste Recycling

When it is time for an electronic makeover, it is easy to have computers hauled out to recycling centers. Clover Trash Removal can haul out old electronics for a hassle-free transition to an updated office. Clover will make sure all electronic waste is recycled correctly, so you will not have to worry about disposing of your E-waste.

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