Dear Amy: What happens to recycled electronics? — Troy, Fort Worth, Texas
Dear Troy: A lot of different things happen to recycled electronics. For example, a working laptop that is only a few years old could be refurbished and resold or donated to a local school. Older electronics and items that no longer work are broken down to retrieve valuable materials that can be used to make new electronics. This needs to be done safely, because many electronics have toxic materials in them. Televisions and computer monitors with a cathode ray tube (CRT) contain lead in the glass. Many other electronics also contain lead, mercury or other toxic substances.
Unfortunately, many electronic waste items picked up for recycling are never actually recycled. Items are sometimes shipped overseas, where workers will remove any valuable parts and discard the rest in a landfill. To make sure this doesn't happen to your recycled goods, be sure to only donate to recyclers with sound recycling practices. Find out more about recycling electronic waste at www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/ecycling/faq.htm. Together we can make a difference!
Ask Amy a Question