Getting Rid Of Old Electronics

When it comes to recycling, more than half of us are doing pretty well with bottles and cans, and even better with paper and plastic. Consumer Reports says we're not doing so well with our old electronics.

"It can be tricky finding places to recycle your old electronics," said Consumer Reports' Urvashi Rangan. "But the bigger problem is people throwing them in the garbage, not realizing that that can pose a danger."

A Consumer Reports National Research Center survey of more than two thousand Americans reveals only about 11 to 17 percent are recycling electronics.

"Cell phone can be loaded with toxic metals such as arsenic, cadmium, and mercury," said Rangan. "Old television and computer monitors can contain up to eight pounds of lead. When they break in a landfill they can pose an environmental and a neurological hazard."

Where do you start? First, look for a recycling center that takes computers, TVs, and other electronics.

They dismantle and separate parts, and remove toxic metals.

Retailers like Best Buy, Office Depot, and Staples also accept electronic devices-as do many manufacturers.

Consumer Reports says to find a location to drop off your electronics, check out Earth911.com.

You type in what you want to recycle and your ZIP code and you get a list of centers in your area.

And remember, before you recycle and old cell phone or computer, be sure to remove your personal information.

Consumer Reports says be aware-there are many unscrupulous recyclers that ship electronics overseas, where they get dumped.

To find a responsible recycler, look for one that's signed the Electronics Recycler's Pledge of True Stewardship.

It's a promise that e-waste will not be exported or simply dumped in a landfill.

To check for one go to goodrecyclers.com.


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