Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Plug in to eCycling

I’ve been lax lately on my daily posts. For that, I ask for your understanding. I’ve been battling a bad cough for weeks now, which eventually landed me in the ER. Hopefully I’ll start gaining my energy back and be able to attend to the tasks at hand.

Last week I was a bit tough on the government when I was writing about hemp. So tonight I thought I’d dole out some credit. The EPA has a wonderful program going called Plug in to eCycling, supporting the benefits of recycling and providing the public with information on how to go about recycling old electronics products. With an understanding that recycling our analog TVs or our outdated computers isn’t as easy as tossing a can into the recycling bin, the EPA has teamed up with various electronic manufacturers and retailers to offer some solutions.

As stated on their website, eCycling benefits in 3 ways:

  • Protects your health and surroundings by promoting the proper management of lead, mercury and other toxic chemicals.
  • Conserves natural resources by lessening the need to use as many raw materials from the earth and saving the energy involved in the manufacturing process of new electronic equipment.
  • Helps others by providing them with refurbished equipment that otherwise would have just been thrown away. In 2008 alone, over 20 million televisions were tossed into the U.S. landfills.

You can visit www.epa.gov/osw/partnerships/plugin/index.htm for detailed information about what and where you can recycle your electronic equipment.

Here’s a brief overview of what you’ll find on the website:


Watch the Pass it on Video which educates you about both the environmental and economical perks of donating electronics for reuse. Stephen Johnson, former EPA Administrator and 5 of the EPA’s Plug-In partners offer their insights.

Read the pdf file: Do the PC Thing for Consumers or Do the PC Thing for Businesses.


Since many charitable organizations are no longer accepting donations of analog TVs, it would be wise to check with them before taking your televisions to drop off. If your favorite charity isn’t willing to take your analog TVs off your hands, there are many retailers that will.

  • Best Buy
    They do charge a $10 fee/television (up to 32” and up to 2/day), but will award with a $10 Best Buy gift card in return.
  • Samsung
    With over 218 locations nationwide, they will accept any Samsung televisions for free and other brands for a nominal fee.
  • LG Electronics
    They have teamed with Waste Management and offer a network of electronics drop-off and recycling locations and do not charge fees for LG, Zenith and Goldstar brands.
  • Panasonic, Sharp & Toshiba
    280 locations will accept their brands.
  • Sony
    Offers free recycling for all Sony-branded TVs at 274 locations across the country. They also accept other brands for a fee.

Cell phones, PDAs, chargers and batteries:

For every one million cell phones recycled, the equivalent amount of energy is saved to provide more than 185 American homes with electricity. That’s significant. In 2007, nearly 14 million cell phones were recycled in the U.S.

There are many drop-off locations for used cell phones, including:

AT&T, Best Buy, Sony Ericsson, Sprint, Staples, Office Depot, LG Electronics, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile. Check with your local stores to find out if they have a recycling program in place. If they say ‘no,’ press them for an explanation and a change in policy.

Make sure you erase all data before donating your cell phones. To make it easier, you can use a handy tool called ReCellular’s Cell Phone Data Eraser.

Visit www.recyclewirelessphones.com for more information.

Now that you’re armed with resources, I hope you’ll think twice before setting any of your electronic devices out at the curb on trash night. If you’ve read this, I challenge you to share it with others…after all ignorance isn’t really bliss when it comes to our health. Every piece of electronic equipment that ends up in the landfill is going to affect us one way or another.

Keeping it green,


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