When it comes time to get rid of old electronics and appliances to make room for the new and improved, knowing where and what to do with everything can become confusing. There are many electronics that can be recycled, some that need to be properly disposed of, and some that are in good enough condition to be donated or sold.
Electronics, as opposed to appliances, are much easier to remove from your home. Not only for the general size of the electronics but also because of the availability of electronic recycling programs and collection events across most cities.
There are many appliances that cannot be recycled through an electronic waste collection site. In order to properly remove and dispose of these items, contact your local municipality for information on where to drop off these electronic appliances. The following list helps determine which items you can recycle, and which need to be disposed of.
1. Cell phones and tablets
Older cell phones with a removable battery are much easier to be recycled compared to the smartphones, which are compacted together. However, both can be collected and recycled. This is the most common electronic that is often removed from the home. Tablets also fall under the category of compacted electronics but can and should be recycled.
Both desktops and laptops can be recycled at your local electronic waste deposit center. Not only the computers but also the devices that are used with computers can be recycled. Wired or wireless items such as keyboards, the mouse, headphones, or webcams are accepted as recycled electronics.
3. Audio and Video Systems
Some older audio and visual systems are quite large, heavy and bulky. Regardless of the size, they will be accepted at a collection site for recycling. Items of this system can include the speakers, hard drive, CD player or radio.
Home printers are accepted for recycling. If you have an office-sized printer, consider contacting your local electronic waste deposit center for information on how the printer can be removed from your home and if there are further requirements in order to recycle it.
Appliances like microwaves can actually be thrown into the trash once broken. They are normally accepted by local trash collection unless otherwise stated by your municipality. Before throwing your microwave away, consider taking it to an appliance store. They may wish to keep the appliance and disassemble it for parts.
6. Fire alarms
It is actually illegal to dispose of your fire alarm and electronic waste deposit locations will also not take them. In order to remove your fire alarm from your home, after replacing it with a new one, you must return it to the manufacturer or contact your local government or fire station for further instructions. This is also true for smoke detectors; they must be removed according to government and manufacture regulation.
7. Vacuum cleaners
This is an appliance that can be a pain to remove as you cannot drop it off at a collection location and some municipalities will not allow you to throw the vacuum into the trash. Follow the same process as the microwave and return the vacuum to the manufacturer so they can disassemble it for parts.
Knowing how and where to safely remove these electronics from your home will help you make the transition from old to new items. If you are unfamiliar, contact your local municipality to find out where electronic waste deposits are, when collections happen, and who you can contact for help with removal.