Thanks to Verizon Wireless for providing this great list of sites across the U.S. where you can recycle electronics.
Some states have established electronic waste recycle programs, including many that are free to consumers.
Recyclemac comment: Why are there only 13 states out there doing this kind of thing? IF your state is NOT LISTED let us know and we’ll add them here..
- Connecticut or call 1-888-424-4193
- Hawaii or call 1-808-586-4226
- Minnesota or call 1-800-657-3864
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- Oregon Oregon E-Cycles: Free recycling for computers, monitors and TVs or call 1-888-5-ECYCLE
- Pennsylvania or call 1-800-346-4242
- Rhode Island
- Washington Recycle computers, monitors and TVs free of charge or call 1-800-RECYCLE.
- Wisconsin or call 1-800-943-0003
Note: North Carolina, Vermont and Wisconsin prohibit the disposal of netbook computers, tablets and in Wisconsin, cellphones, in solid waste landfills. Other states may have similar restrictions. More information is available on the websites identified above
Protect your Personal Data
Most recyclers will attempt to erase data from refurbished or recycled devices. However, it is good practice to purge your personal data – your contact list, photos, text messages, etc. – before giving it over to a recycler (or passing it to a family member or friend).
As I have time – I will reprint some articles about recycling that I (or others in what is now the MacRecycleClinic group) wrote about our efforts over the years to refurbish and return Macs back into the community. I’m doing this not only to preserve the articles but to show just how far back MRC and our old Washington Apple Pi Tuesday Night Crew goes – how our efforts to recycle have gone back to Apple II days in fact. I’ll add photos as well when possible.
Note that in 2012 MCPS – Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools – basically only supports PCs these days. That said, MRC has had luck working with school counselors and PTSAs to get computers to students and families that don’t have computers. If you have a group that is trying to recycle computers, be sure to check and see what your local school district will – or won’t – accept. But there are many non-profits, students and families who would appreciate a refurbished computer. I just read the newspaper, work with local churches and school groups and never have a problem finding someone who could use a recycled Macintosh.
I took a look back at this blog and realized we’re closing in on six months since we got RecycleMac started. MacRecycleClinic was reestablished earlier than that, of course (after a two year hiatus). But it feels like we are really only now getting everything finally back together. It’s taken awhile to get the word out – we are finally starting to get more customers (guests/patrons/Mac aficionados) and making some progress on some other projects like the Mac Lab at Marvin and making community contacts.
We have added more shelving to the office space to get our refurbished computers off the floor. We donated a Mac laptop to the Blair High School AfterProm Committee for senior Daniel Naval to take to college. And we’ve helped some wonderful people get their Macs working again. Our agreement with the county to take Macs that would otherwise be recycled at the Shady Grove facility is also starting to bear some fruit – we find there are parts we can use if nothing else. The other day, a machine came in that had no memory or hard drive, but the Airport Extreme wireless card had been left in! It was easily the most valuable part.
We continue to look for ways to work with the Silver Spring and Montgomery County communities to get computers into the hands of folks who don’t have them. We remain open to suggestions and will gladly take referrals from non-profits who feel someone they work with could use a computer. In many cases, we can also provide a printer so there’s a complete solution (just provide the Internet and ink cartridges!)
We look forward to the future as we are able to make more alliances and get the word out that MacRecycleClinic can, in a small way, make a difference in our community.
Informed folks want to know! I’ve been talking a lot about what we do and how we do it but sometimes just having an actual mission statement can provide some focus for an organization. MRC is a SMALL organization mind you. We still have a number of folks who were part of the old Tuesday Night Crew as we called it at Washington Apple Pi (WAP). Over the time we were “in the wilderness” and without a home, we did lose a few friends.
We hope that as we reestablish ourselves in our new location at Marvin Memorial United Methodist Church in Silver Spring, others interested in helping will step forward. And of course we could use some customers too! We survive thanks to your donations. Come join us! Read more…
RecycleMac has been getting some positive feedback so thanks to all of our readers out there. This is really a long-term project that tries to build a quality voice in a room filled with many folks who are passionate about the environment and recycling. We’ll keep working at it with your help!
So here are the questions:
- What’s different about recycling Macs than other computers?
A Mac is a PC – that is, it is a personal computer or a personal appliance or a personal electronic gadget. So essentially you would recycle it the same way you might any other computer. All the folks we’ve talked about – from Apple to Dell – will take your computer and many times other electronic equipment and recycle them.
Unfortunately, Apple has taken some heat in past years because its computers were not made of materials that were easy to recycle or were toxic. To its credit, Apple has made some major changes and is much greener these days. I won’t go into depth here but you can read all about it on their website. If you’re interested, you can also see what Greenpeace says these days – it has an entire website devoted to the issue.
Please know that the Macs that are donated to us are thoroughly checked and cleaned. Hard drives are securely wiped of all data and an appropriate version of the Mac OS is installed. If the machine can not be made to work (and we get some that just don’t want to work no matter what we do) we will take out any reusable parts – hard drives, memory, batteries, sometimes the power supplies and optical drives – and send the hulk to Montgomery County’s Processing Facility and Transfer Station in Derwood (Gaithersburg), Maryland – which is the closest county recycling center to us. Here’s a map:
Time and again, we see examples of individuals really making a difference. The 7 year old who raises money to help the families of our Wounded Warriors. The cancer victim who walks with many others each year to raise research funds. The church members who individually volunteer their time at everything from soup kitchens to homeless shelters. Americans like to look on themselves as individuals but the fact is we work pretty well together when there’s a need. Recycling computers and other electronics is important and something we can all be part of. Whether you donate your old PowerMac G4, G5, iMac, eMac or Intel machine to a group like MacRecycleClinic to refurbish for others, take it to your local Apple, Best Buy or other store for recycling or your county or state recycling center, you make a difference each time you or your neighbor makes the decision to recycle rather than throw away.
Many years ago, I was getting ready to leave for work when the neighbor next door came out with an old Apple /// and propped it next the the telephone pole. He was throwing it away because at that time, there were few options for folks to recycle their used electronics. Now any of you who have been around for awhile and know what an Apple /// is, you will also know it was a really heavy computer. Steve Jobs HATES fans – and tho he’s mellowed in his old age, there was a time he never even allowed a fan near any of his computers.
That’s why the /// didn’t have a fan – and in fact, was “anchored” literally by a heat sink manufactured in a Midwestern auto engine factory. It made a great boat anchor once its useful days were over.