Recycling Computers and Other eWaste

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The all-in-one (fax, printer, copier and scanner) finally stopped working.  I purchased its replacement, and took it to GreenCitizen to be recycled.   I also managed to find several old, partially working computers, an external disk drive and a few old cell phones.  Drop off for the computers was free (with the promise to destroy my hard drives).  The all-in-one had a per pound charge for a total of $17.  

Most people don't realize the importance of disposing of all electronics with incredible care.  When placed in landfill, not only do we miss the opportunity to reuse parts of cell phones, televisions, computers, batteries and other electronics, but the chemicals used to produce chips and other components are considered hazardous and toxic.  According to a blog post in, the EPA estimates that only 18% of the 2.25 million tons of televisions, computers and cellphones that were discarded by consumers in 2007 were recycled.  Wow.  

Recycling electronic components in San Francisco is getting easier.  SF Recycling (part of Sunset Scavenger) allows consumers to drop off up to 30 items at the dump.  They will also pick up at residences as part of the Bulky Item Collection.  Many people I asked recommended Goodwill.  And there are a variety of services like GreenCitizen who are making money by disassembling electronics and reusing and selling component parts appropriately.

(I forgot to take a picture of the pile of things I had accumulated in my house--10 years worth of computers, printers, cell phones, etc.  I would have been a bit embarrassed to post it anyway!)