Recycling options for unwanted consumer electronics
Waste electronic and electrical products from households should
be managed responsibly, even in small quantities.
Residents can take advantage of the growing number
of recycling options for household electronics — some are free,
while some charge a fee. Look around to find the best deal available!
Not just a good idea. Many consumer products must be recycled. These are banned from the trash and must be properly handled.
- CRT-containing devices, like televisions and computer monitors.
- Flat-panel video displays typically contain one or more mercury-containing lamps.
- Rechargeable batteries and battery packs.
- Fluorescent bulbs and tubes.
Recycle consumer electronics in Minnesota
Collection sites, sorted by county
Statewide, Minnesota currently has over 150 registered collection sites for consumer electronics.
- Fees may apply—shop around for your best deal.
- Contact the collector to ensure that they will accept the items you wish to recycle.
- Some collection locations are restricted to residents.
- For counties without listed collectors, contact your county solid waste office for ideas.
We've worked to find collection events around Minnesota that
include waste electronics. Please contact the event sponsor to ensure
that you are eligible for the event and to confirm fees.
Local collection events may be restricted to local
residents or certain types of electronics. There may be a fee,
but free recycling may be offered for certain brands or types
of equipment (TVs and computer monitors are generally recycled for
Don't see an event listed in your area? Contact your
county solid waste office to ask about possible collections
in your county.
Last update: November 2008
May 1, 2009 (7 a.m. - 8 p.m.)
St. Cloud | Crossroads Center (Third Street N entrance)
Free recycling of laptops and cellphones.
Fees apply (50¢/pound) for all other e-waste: televisions, computers, computer peripherals, printers, fax machines, photocopiers, DVD players & recorders, VCRs, & PDAs.
A fundraising event for United Cerebral Palsy of Central Minnesota. Questions: 320-255-6140.
Last update: April 24, 2009
Recyclers, local governments: List your event! <email@example.com>
Some retail stores provide recycling services that are convenient for
consumers that want to get rid of various broken or unwanted electronics,
particularly cell phones and rechargeable batteries.
Buy provides free and easy recycling for any brand of cell
phone, printer ink cartridge, and rechargeable battery at any of their
retail locations nationwide—look for the special display in the
the RBRC's Call2Recycle
program, retailers including Batteries Plus, Target, and Radio Shack
offer drop-offs for all brands of unwanted cell phones and accessories.
online to find participating locations, or call 1-877-2-RECYCLE.
Useable phones are refurbished for donation, and the rest is recycled
with a portion of the proceeds given to charity.
Connect offers free drop-off of all brands of wireless phones at Sprint
Stores and participating Easter
Seals locations nationwide. Donations are either recycled or resold,
with a portion of the net proceeds benefiting Easter Seals and the
National Organization on Disability (NOD).
office supply stores offer free drop-off recycling services
for used cell phones, PDAs, pagers, and rechargeable batteries. The
chain has partnered with CollectiveGood
to refurbish useable devices and recycle those that are broken.
- Austin: 1702B 17th St NW (55912), 507-434-9466
- Rochester: 3839 Market Place Dr NW (55901), 507-536-3939
- Use the Staples online Store
locator to see if there's another store near you.
the Verizon Wireless HopeLinesm
Phone Recycling Program, consumers get free drop-off recycling
services for used cell phones at retail
store locations. With the funds raised from the sale of the refurbished
phones, Verizon Wireless will purchase wireless phones and donate
airtime to victims of domestic violence through human services and
law enforcement agencies.
Several major manufacturers of computers and electronics are offering
consumers recycling and reuse alternatives for their products. This is
most common for old PCs and computer peripherals (monitors, keyboards,
The offers have significant differences in cost and arrangements
— be sure you "read the fine print" and confirm that your equipment
- Apple Recycling Program | www.apple.com/environment/recycling/program
For qualifying purchases of a computer or monitor from the online Apple Store or a retail Apple Store, you can opt into the Apple Recycling Program for free. After purchase, you will get an email with instructions for free recycling of your old computer and monitor, regardless of manufacturer, including shipping via FedEx. last update 8/06
phone recycling: Wireless... the new recyclable | www.recyclewirelessphones.com
Answering the call for recycling options for cell phones, this program
promotes efforts by companies in the wireless sector. The Cellular
Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) and its member companies
are "committed to the goal of sustainable development and the environmentally
sound management of their wireless products at end-of-life."
Recycling | www.dell4me.com/recycling
Dell Recycling offers free pickup and recycling for Dell-brand computers and peripherals. Or, for those purchasing a new Dell computer, they will recycle your old technology at no charge, regardless of manufacturer.
Finally, through a partnership with the National Cristina Foundation, Dell can help you donate qualifying systems to someone in need. You can earn a tax deduction.
Recycle Program | www.epson.com/recycle
Epson offers recycling for its products, including printers, scanners,
and projectors. A fee of $10 per item covers shipping
and recycling, and you get a $5 credit on their online store.
Recycling services are prepaid through the Epson
web site, and they send you a UPS label. You box up your item and
bring it to a UPS drop site in your area.
- Fujitsu | http://fujitsu.ewaste-recycle.com
Free recycling of Fujitsu-brand laptop and tablet computers, including free shipping when dropped off at a UPS store. Services include a bulk recycling option. Sign up online and print out a return label.
Trade-in & Recycle Program | http://gateway.eztradein.com
Gateway's Technology Trade-in Center lets recent customers mail in used,
working electronics and get paid. An online system will provide an estimate
and produce a postage-paid label for shipping via UPS.
Gateway offers a separate program for organizations and
businesses that have recycling needs for old technology: Gateway Asset Recovery Services.
Packard (HP): Planet Partners Recycling Program | www.hp.com/go/recycle
In the U.S., HP offers product end-of-life return programs for computer
hardware and peripherals from HP and other manufacturers. After unwanted
hardware is evaluated, it is either donated to charity or recycled by
HP. Consumers are charged for each item sent in, with fees ranging from
$13–34 per item. HP's automated, on-line service calculates
your final cost, payable by credit card. Sample costs (each): CPU ($21),
monitor ($29), laser printer ($34).
Any brand of equipment is accepted. Use the web-based
order form to identify what you need to recycle, and they will calculate
a total cost including shipping. The site offers instructions for packing
and pickup service.
Recycles | 859-232-3022
Lexmark has free programs for returning consumables and equipment for
recycling at end of life. The Equipment
Collection Program will accept Lexmark-brand printers for free recycling,
but the consumer has to make the arrangements and pay for the shipping.
Spent Lexmark toner cartridges can be returned using free, postage-paid
envelopes through the Cartridge
LG Electronics | http://us.lge.com/green/
The LG Electronics Recycling Program is a partnership with Waste Management, offering free recycling of LG-brand electronics at designated WM eCycling drop-off centers—up to 5 devices per visit.
Accepted products include LG, Zenith and GoldStar brands of TVs, monitors, audio equipment, VCRs and DVD player/recorders, combination TV/VCR and TV/DVD units, set top boxes and accessories associated with those products.
LG believes that individual producer responsibility is "the ideal model for take-back and recycling programs," where each brand owner offers to take back and recycle their own brands of products.
Computers | 1-888-224-4247 (press "0" for operator)
This program accepts all brands of computer equipment. Recycling is
available on a per-unit basis. Desktop computers and monitors are collected
separately, with a $35 charge for each (under 75
Customers call the toll-free number and prepay by credit
card. You box up your equipment, use the provided UPS label, and drop
off the box at a UPS shipping center
- Samsung Recycling Direct
Free recycling of Samsung-brand consumer electronics at select drop-off locations around Minnesota. Other brands recycled for a fee. Find locations online: www.samsung.com/recyclingdirect
Electronics Take Back Recycling Program
Sony has taken their free recycling program nationwide. They offer free recycling of Sony-brand
consumer electronics at listed Waste Management eCycle drop-off centers. Find locations online, or call 1-877-439-2795.
- Toshiba Trade-in & Recycling Program
Toshiba offers free recycling of all Toshiba notebooks, as well as low-cost recycling options for electronics products from other manufacturers. Through its trade-in program, Toshiba also provides customers the opportunity to extend the life of their laptop or other consumer electronic product by trading it in for its cash value.
Options for cell phones
Cell phones seem to be everywhere these days, and millions are trashed each year in the U.S. But unwanted phones have value—keep them out of the trash!
Learn about the growing number of national programs for collecting unwanted
cell phones and putting them to use—donation and reuse, resale, and recycling. Most programs are free to the consumer and make it easy, including free dropoff sites and postage-paid mailers.
Wireless... the new recyclable | www.recyclewirelessphones.com
Promoting efforts to keep cell phones out of the trash — by donation and reuse, as well as recycling — this web site features programs that accept unwanted wireless devices.
Recycle Your Cell Phone: It's an easy call. U.S. EPA has teamed up with manufacturers and retailers to
promote recycling your old cell phone, PDA, cell phone batteries, chargers, and accessories.
Donate A Phone
Call to Protect® campaign collects wireless
phones to benefit victims of domestic violence. In the hands of a victims,
these phones are a lifeline enabling them to call for assistance when
faced with an emergency situation. Non-working phones are sold for recycling.
Visit the web site for a list
of Minnesota drop-off sites, or call 1-888-901-7233.
the Call2Recycle program, retailers including Best
Buy, Target, and Radio Shack offer drop-offs for all brands of unwanted
cell phones and accessories. Go
online to find participating locations, or call 1-877-2-RECYCLE.
Useable phones are refurbished for donation, the rest is recycled
with a portion of the proceeds given to charity.
Nokia offers free recycling
for all brands of cell phones. Use their online form to generate a postage-paid label for mailing phones.
raises money and support for people with disabilities while providing
an environmentally friendly way to dispose of used wireless phones.
Donations are either recycled or resold, with net proceeds
benefiting Sprint's 4NetSafety program, which works to keep kids safer online.
Requirements for businesses and organizations
Managing Electronic Wastes from Business Sources (Nov. 2004)
Businesses and institutions with electronic wastes are expected to manage electronic devices and components in a manner consistent with state and federal law.
The regulations that apply to businesses that generate, collect or process electronic waste (e-waste) are complicated. It can be very difficult to determine how e-waste must be managed at various steps of the recycling/disposal process. This fact sheet explains the current regulatory status of e-waste generated from business sources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s recommended best management practices: Managing Electronic Wastes from Business Sources (Nov. 2004)
In the Twin Cities metropolitan area e-waste may be additionally regulated through county ordinances. Generators and handlers of e-waste in the seven-county metropolitan area should check with their county hazardous waste program for additional requirements. Read How to Manage Electronic Equipment in the Workplace (GreenGuardian.com).
The Minnesota Recycling Markets Directory lists companies serving Minnesota that process commercial quantities of materials, including waste electronics: www.pca.state.mn.us/oea/markets
Last updates September 2008