What is e-waste?
The growing demand for consumer electronic equipment and the marketing of new features has caused rapid growth in the generation of unwanted electronics, known as electronic waste, or e-waste. The term e-waste can include computer equipment, televisions, printers, fax machines, telephones, etc. Basically, it's anything with a plug. If not reused or recycled , e-waste ends up in our landfills. Certain components of electronic products contain hazardous materials. While circuit boards, batteries and switches may contain heavy metals, the significant components in the e-waste stream that are a hazardous waste are cathode ray tubes (CRTs).
Why recycle e-waste?
Electronic components and materials are resources that can be re-used or recycled. In order to conserve natural resources and the energy needed to produce new electronic equipment from virgin resources, electronic equipment should be refurbished, reused and recycled whenever possible.
In general, electronics recycling refers to the inspection, disassembly, sorting, and processing of discarded electronic equipment for potential re-use or re-manufacture. Proper management of this growing segment of the electronic waste stream is a challenge for business, government and the general public. A growing number of recyclers are becoming third-party certified by the R2 or e-Stewards programs. These certifications are intended to ensure responsible recycling practices.
Options for recycling your e-waste in Nevada
Once equipment has outlived its original intended usefulness it may not be welcomed by all organizations for reuse, but it can still be recycled. There are many options for reusing or recycling e-Waste:
• donation to a thrift store, non-profit, or school
• sell for re-use or sell to a buy-back program
• drop off at a retailer (e.g. Best Buy) that has an e-Waste recycling program
• send back to manufacturer, if a mail-in program is available
For more details on these options click here.
Check the Recycling Locator Map for options near you, or call the Recycling Hotline at 1-800-597-5865.
If you were to drop-off or send your old computer to an electronics recycler, they would first inspect the equipment noting the technology and functionality. If it is determined to be no longer of value for re-use, it would be broken down into its constituent parts, such as housings, circuit boards, wiring, and CRTs. These would then undergo further processing into base materials for use as feedstock in manufacturing new goods or in some cases disposal.
Of note, the State of Nevada does not certify or otherwise regulate electronic waste recyclers except for compliance with existing state and federal solid and hazardous waste regulations.
Certified Electronics Recyclers
There are two third-party certifications that electronics recyclers can earn: e-Stewards and R2. The intention of the certifications is to ensure responsible recycling practices. The following companies have one or both certfications, or are in the process of becoming certified. Note that some of these businesses do not accept materials from the public.
Arrow Global Asset Disposition
Pacific Steel and Recycling
Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) --those old, boxy TVs and monitors
CRTs are the picture tubes in older, non-flat screen, TVs and computer monitors. CRTs contain significant quantities of lead, a heavy metal that could be released to the environment when the CRTs are crushed.
It is not uncommon for recyclers to charge a fee for accepting CRTs. Check the Recycling Locator Map or the chart of national electronics retailers in Nevada for recycling options. We advise calling the retailer or recycler to ensure that they will accept CRTs.