Business: E-waste Not

Outdated electronics are being diverted from landfills to recyclers

By Christine Cyr

A lack of federal regulation has allowed the tide of e-waste to continue flowing out of the country, but states are stepping in to stem the flow. Four states have passed e-waste recycling laws, and at least 23 more are considering similar legislation. Washington and Maine make producers responsible for taking back equipment, a policy that some environmental and trade groups advocate because it pressures manufacturers to design equipment that is easier and less expensive to take apart and recycle. In California, the fee consumers pay when purchasing a television or computer goes to help offset the cost of demanufacturing the material. A five-year pilot program in Maryland holds counties accountable for collecting electronics and recycling them.

Regardless of your state’s policies, you can find a recycler with a diligent tracking system to ensure that your electronics are recycled appropriately. After all, even if we are living in a technological revolution, we don’t have to contribute to e-waste anarchy.



Unless you pay a fee (ranging from $1 for a toner cartridge to $30 for a computer) to get rid of your electronics, hey’ll probably end up in a landfill. Here’s how to find a legit recycler.

The Basel Action Network lists recyclers that don’t export e-waste to developing countries or dump it in landfills (

The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition lists most of the major manufacturers’ take-back programs (

Free Geek
, a reuse organization, specializes in refurbishing old machines (

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Issue 25

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