Think about the average lifespan of electronics. Most people will say you’re doing great if you can keep your laptop or cell phone going for five years. A printer is usually lucky to make it past nine years. Monitors have an average lifespan of eight years. Refurbished items have shorter lifespans.
What happens when it’s time to dispose of a broken or obsolete electronic device? Too many people don’t understand how to recycle in their area. To help out, here’s a guide on each state’s e-waste recycling rules and where to go if you have electronics that you’d like to recycle responsibly.
Alabama does not have an e-waste program or a ban on household electronic devices going into incinerators or landfills. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management does offer alternatives to tossing e-waste into the trash.
There are no laws in Alaska banning the disposal of electronics in landfills or incinerators. There’s also no state e-waste recycling program. The state directs residents to follow federal regulations.
Arizona started looking at programs to get e-waste out of landfills back in 2009. While there are still no explicit laws, there are recycling centers across the state.
In 2021, Senate Bill 585 (Electronic Waste Recycling Program and Collective Recovery Plan) was delivered to the governor in April. Arkansas residents can go to the Arkansas E-Waste Recycling Collection Centers website to find their local recycling centers.
California banned e-waste from going to landfills back in 2006. To cover the cost of e-waste recycling, people pay a fee when they purchase their electronics. E-waste recycling centers are found throughout the state. Some organizations offer home pick-up, too.
In 2013, Colorado passed the Electronic Recycling Jobs Act that banned the disposal of e-waste. Consumers must bring their electronic waste to area recycling facilities or collection events held throughout the year. You can also see if your local Best Buy or Staples accepts e-waste drop-offs.
Connecticut started a ban on the disposal of electronics in landfills back in 2009. Manufacturers must pay for the collection and recycling of electronics. Each municipality has to offer a drop-off center in their community for residents to use.
Delaware does not have specific laws against e-waste, but they do ask residents to keep e-waste from the trash. Instead, they’re asked to bring them to a household hazardous waste collection event. Events take place throughout the year at locations like schools or state parks. You’re allowed to bring two boxes.
There are no laws or regulations regarding e-waste in Florida. State officials still urge you to recycle your electronics properly. Before you go, call to see if CRT products are allowed. Many have stopped accepting these items.
Georgia does not mandate e-recycling, but the Georgia Environmental Compliance Assistance Program helps out.
Hawaii has several recycling facilities on different islands. You can also recycle e-waste with a local Best Buy, but be aware there may be a fee of almost $30 per item for computer monitors and TVs.
While Idaho doesn’t have a specific law banning e-waste, they ask people to do their part.
It’s illegal to throw away electronics into the trash in Illinois. Instead, there are recycling centers across the state. You can search for them by town or city or by item using the state’s e-waste recycling map.
Manufacturers must account for the collection and recycling of at least 60% by weight. Consumers can bring their e-waste to their local solid waste management district or find a registered collection company.
Iowa only requires businesses to follow federal rules on recycling electronics containing hazardous waste. Many stores offer recycling, including Best Buy, Costco, and Staples.
The only law in Kansas covers the disposal of items containing CRTs. Recycling programs are hard to access in rural communities. That’s why the state hasn’t enacted a complete electronics ban.
There are no bans on the disposal of e-waste in the landfill if you’re not a worker in the state government. Residents can throw out their electronic items if the trash hauler allows it. Businesses must follow federal laws regarding hazardous waste.
While there are no specific laws on e-waste, Louisiana does have a few options for voluntary recycling. You can bring your e-waste to some Best Buy stores and the Salvation Army. The City of New Orleans Recycling Center accepts e-waste once a month. The Capital Area Corporate Recycling Council in Baton Rouge accepts some electronics (no copiers, CRTs, or televisions).
Maine’s product stewardship program requires manufacturers to pay for the e-recycling of many electronic items. Cell phones are not included, but many cell phone manufacturers have their own take-back programs in place.
Maryland passed legislation mandating e-recycling. Manufacturers help cover the costs of recycling in the state. You can contact participating manufacturers to recycle electronics from that brand or find a local recycling facility or eCycling Collection Event.
The only electronics with a landfill ban are CRT computer monitors and televisions and mercury lamps, thermostats, and thermometers. If residents want to recycle other electronics, they’re urged to contact the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Beyond the Bin Recycling program.
In 2008, Michigan established the Electronic Waste Takeback Program, requiring manufacturers of computers and TVs to take them back. If you purchased your electronics in Michigan, manufacturers must provide you with online information on recycling your TVs and computers.
Per Minnesota law, you have to recycle computer monitors, items containing mercury, rechargeable batteries, and TVs. They urge consumers to recycle other electronics. Recycle cell phones and rechargeable batteries at Best Buy, Sprint, and Staples.
Only government agencies must properly recycle their e-waste with a certified electronics recycling company. Consumers who are not required to recycle can still do so by contacting the manufacturer or finding a retailer, such as Best Buy, that takes electronics back.
Missouri does have laws that prohibit electronics from being dumped in landfills. Consumers have to follow the Electronics Scrap Management Rule, which has you returning electronics to manufacturers.
Montana doesn’t have a specific e-waste law, but an incentive program helps keep e-waste out of the landfill. Pay-As-You-Throw has consumers paying per pound trash rates rather than a fixed rate. The lighter your trash bags, the less you pay.
Like other states, Nebraska has no set laws. They do encourage people to e-recycle anyway through donations, recycling centers, or by contacting manufacturers.
Nevada follows federal laws regarding hazardous waste recycling. Consumers are not required to follow the law, though it’s encouraged.
Residents are required to recycle hazardous waste, but there are no laws covering electronics.
Through New Jersey E-Cycle, consumers can recycle most electronics. Recycle computers, fax machines, monitors, printers, and TVs for free at a recycling center near you.
Recycling facilities are found throughout the state or at many local electronic retailers. There is no state e-waste program, however.
The New York State Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act requires the manufacturer to provide convenient, cost-free e-waste recycling. The Wireless Telephone Recycling Act covers cell phones.
The Discarded Computer Equipment and Television Management regulations split recycling responsibilities between consumers and manufacturers. You must bring your electronics to a participating recycling center.
Electronics recycling isn’t mandated, but it’s encouraged. It’s recommended that consumers look into recycling at retailers like Best Buy or check with area recycling facilities.
There are no laws that apply to residents, but businesses have to follow federal regulations on recycling electronics with CRTs and mercury.
The Oklahoma Computer Equipment Recovery Act mandates that manufacturers offer free, convenient recycling options for computers only. Consumers can call around to see if other electronics are accepted at local recycling facilities.
As long as you keep your electronics to no more than seven, Oregon recycling facilities accept e-waste without a charge. It’s illegal to dispose of computers, monitors, and TVs in landfills.
The Covered Device Recycling Act mandates that manufacturers provide easy recycling options for any computer, computer peripheral, or TV sold in the state.
Computers and TVs became part of the landfill ban in 2009. Manufacturers have to pay for take-back programs.
State legislation prohibits many electronics (computers, monitors, printers, and TVs) from going to a landfill. Local recycling centers and some retailers take them.
The federal rules on hazardous waste are followed. There is no specific state program for electronics or batteries, but consumers can bring them to Best Buy or Staples.
Tennessee doesn’t have express bans on e-waste from the landfill. They do offer a Green Cube program, however, that makes it easy to recycle batteries. Find a local Green Cube and deposit your unwanted batteries in those containers.
Texas passed a law that requires manufacturers to take back computer equipment and televisions. Consumers can go to TexasRecyclesComputers.org and TexasRecyclesTVs.org to find a local drop-off center.
Utah enacted the Utah Disposal of Electronic Waste Act that requires manufacturers to make it easy for buyers to recycle electronics. Options must include either mail-back programs, collection sites, or home and business pick-up services. To find your local recycling center, find your county on the recycling facility map.
E-waste disposal is prohibited in Vermont. Residents have to bring their unneeded electronics and other corded items to a recycling center. Some recycling centers charge a fee to drop off certain electronics. They’re allowed to charge a fee if the electronic is a game console, phone, music player, DVD player, or VCR. There’s also a limit of seven electronic items per visit.
Residents are urged to properly recycle their electronics. You’ll find options at local recycling centers and during collection events.
E-Cycle is the state’s recycling program for computers, e-readers, monitors, portable DVD players, tablets, and TVs. Broken items may be refused. You cannot recycle keyboards or printers; instead, bring them to Best Buy or Staples.
Washington D.C. has its own rules on e-waste recycling. Many electronics are banned from landfills. See if there’s a drop-off center nearby. Different manufacturers arrange recycling events throughout the year.
House bill 4540 banned electronics from landfills, but it was repealed in 2016. It’s still possible to recycle your electronics through some solid waste districts, but you should call first.
Manufacturers must ensure a certain percentage of electronics in homes and schools are appropriately recycled each year. E-Cycle Wisconsin doesn’t apply to businesses, but federal laws do.
It’s still legal to dispose of household electronics in the landfill, but the state urges residents to recycle instead.
You can also visit Recycle Nation and look up the item you wish to recycle in our directory. Enter your ZIP and the type of e-waste. You’ll get a list of recycling centers nearest you, the contact information, and hours. It’s an easy way to find the best ways to recycle e-waste in your state.