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The E-Waste links presented below are provided as information only and does not represent an endorsement or recommendation by DEQ.

New Source for Disposal of Old Computers - The Rethink Initiative

Online auction house eBay recently launched a recycling initiative to confront the problem of “e-waste.” The Rethink Initiative brings together leading technology companies, government agencies, environmental groups and millions of eBay users to work on the problem of unused or obsolete computers that may pose environmental hazards when disposed of in landfills.

Approximately 133,000 computers are currently being replaced daily by their original owners.  These retired systems contain hazardous materials, such as plastic, lead, cadmium, chromium, and mercury.  While these materials need to be handled in an environmentally responsible manner, only about 10% of unwanted computers in the U.S. are recycled.

With Intel Corporation as eBay's primary ally, the initiative coordinates efforts by Apple, Gateway, HP, IBM and Ingram Micro with the EPA, the non-profit Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service, among others. 

The Rethink Initiative website

identifies product disposition alternatives, such as recycling and refurbishing, and makes it easy to put this knowledge into action.

The initiative also provides value guides to help estimate the value of e-waste items, which in turn may prove useful in choosing the best disposal option.  Computers which are still functioning may be sold or donated via the initiative site.  Included in eBay’s selling tools are a safe data destruction utility, listing helpers that automatically identify system components, and information on how to purchase protective shipping kits.  The initiative also provides access to a directory of third-party sellers able to pick up one or more items, who can then act as sellers on behalf of the items' owners.  An additional directory helps businesses outsource the disposition process to a local asset recovery specialist.

As an alternative, visitors to the site can opt to donate their working PCs to the National Cristina Foundation.  The non-profit organization works nationally to provide donations of used computer equipment to schools, charities, and public agencies committed to training people with disabilities, students at risk and economically disadvantaged persons.

For systems which are past their useful life, the web site includes a list of responsible recyclers, as well as links to additional recycling resources administered by Rethink's member organizations.

Manufacturer's electronics recycling programs

For general manufacturers' takeback program information, visit the Computer Take Back Campaign

Several computer manufacturers have committed to provide convenient reuse and recycling program - environmentally friendly, easy to use, and low cost.

Apple Equipment Recycling 

Dell Recycling

Gateway Computers





Green electronics programs

Commonwealth of Virginia Surplus Property Management

Within each Virginia state agency there are opportunities to use materials made with recycled content as well as to reduce waste and minimize trash disposal costs by reusing or recycling materials.

Electronic Product Environment Assessment Tool (EPEAT)

The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool is  an environmental procurement tool designed to help institutional purchasers in the public and private sectors evaluate, compare and select computer desktops, laptops and monitors based on their environmental attributes.

EIA Environment - Consumer Education Initiative

This program was developed by the Environmental Issues Council of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA). Its purpose is to inform consumers about recycling and reuse opportunities for used electronics.

Electronics Takeback Website (search engine and electronics processor listings)

Electronics Recycling Guide teaches people what, where, and how they should recycling their old electronics.

EPA's Product Stewardship Initiative The initiative focuses on electronics. The website provides information on a few initiatives around the country.

Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia electronics recycling program can dispose of unwanted computers and other electronics by demanufacturing parts or refurbishing components for resale in Goodwill stores.  Contact your local Goodwill Store to make sure that they are  a participant in this program.

Green Guide to Recycling Appliances and Electronics provides guidance and information on appliance and electronics recycling.

International Association of Electronics Recyclers quality controlled database on electronics recycling organizations available. As a service to IAER Members as well as industry in general, the IAER has developed a searchable directory that uses that database.

Mid-Atlantic Consortium of Recycling and Economic Development Officials (MACREDO) Provides a summary of major technology and environmental policies regarding the recycling and reuse of obsolete computers and other electronic devices.

Recycling for a Better Hampton Roads The cities of Hampton Roads would like to provide a means for residents to safely dispose of used or unwanted consumer electronic equipment by donating them to local charities, schools/institutions or businesses that may have a need for them.

The Complete Guide to Recycling Electronics to properly recycle electronic devices and what to do before safely disposing of them.

Waste Reduction Resource Center: Waste Reduction in Electronics The Waste Reduction Resource Center (WRRC) provides technical Pollution Prevention (P2) support to the states in EPA Region III and EPA Region IV. This online collection of pollution prevention core references includes technical references, fact sheets and case studies on pollution prevention for electronics.

Wireless: The New Recyclable The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA*) and its member companies are committed to the goal of sustainable development and the environmentally sound management of their wireless products at end-of-life. (*CTIA is the international association for the wireless telecommunications industry, representing carriers, manufacturers, and wireless internet providers.)

1-800-GOT-JUNK This goes over how to recycle electronics, the importance of properly disposing of electronic waste, and other need-to-know information before throwing away electronics. They also offer a service to pick up electronic waste in areas the business is located.

Cell phone recycling programs

For cell phone recycling programs, please visit EPA Electronics Donation and Recycling

 Green purchasing

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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