If your desk, basement and garage are cluttered with old electronic devices, don’t dump it all in the trash. Your old cell phones, printers, computers, and TVs may contain toxic lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic and who knows what else–all bad for the environment because these poisons can leach into soil and drinking water.
One go-to place to dump it is the Maxwell Yard in the Town of Mamaroneck. One big trailer is dedicated to old TVs, phones, computers, you name it. Call2Recycle and Earth911 are good places to find other local recycling resources.
With cell phones and computers, be sure to erase all personal information so you won’t be giving away your identity. To find out the best ways to protect yourself, visit the Consumer Reports’ Electronics Reuse and Recycling Center.
Next, for stuff that still works, sell it- CraigsList Westchester, or eBay. Best Buy and Target let you trade in certain items, as does Radio Shack..
If you want to donate instead, visit Westchester Freecycle.org, Freesharing.org, Goodwill, National Cristina Foundation, Recycling for Charities, Sharing is Giving, or that old standby, The Salvation Army.
In addition, many manufacturers and local retailers like Staples and Office Depot now offer recycling programs. For list of these companies, visit the Electronics Takeback Coalition.
When you’re done cleaning up, have some fun at all the Earth Day events nearby. See our events calendar for April 21-22nd.
Joyce H. Newman is an Emmy Award-winning environmental journalist, educator, and gardener. She holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden, and is a tour guide there.