Electronics

Manufacturer-based recycling in Texas

Computers
Televisions
Cellphones
Other electronics

What to do with that old computer, VCR of PlayStation? You can’t toss ‘em in the trash because they contain toxic materials. The emerging solution is a simple but far-reaching concept: manufacturers should take ‘em back. When the producers are responsible for recycling, they have a powerful financial incentive to redesign products for easy recycling and a profit motive to phase out the use of toxic materials. Plus the government doesn’t have to pay for more recycling. This saves our tax dollars and encourages a more sustainable economy — all while helping you get rid of that old boom box.
Learn more about Producer TakeBack Recycling here.

Caution: many so-called recyclers are actually exporting your electronics to be dumped overseas. That’s not recycling! Manufacturers and retailers are offering new programs for a variety of e-waste, and this site is a how-to clearinghouse to help guide you to the easiest, most convenient options available. But unfortunately many of them don’t partner with the proven, responsible recyclers, leaving you with little assurance that your e-waste isn’t just dumped someplace else. The only way to be 100% certain that your e-waste won’t end up dumped overseas is to take it to an e-Steward recycler. There are only a handful of these in Texas:
Find an e-Steward location here.

Computers

Good: Dell and Goodwill partner in Texas to offer free recycling for any brand of computer equipment at any Goodwill location. Learn more here. Although Dell has a strong policy against exporting e-waste, the company does not disclose its recycling partners — meaning we must take them at their word when they say they’re really recycling your equipment.

Better: Thanks to state legislation passed in 2007, all computer makers selling products in Texas are now required to offer free recycling. Find a list of all manufacturer-based programs here. The problem is, very few of the manufacturers have adopted policies against sending e-waste overseas and none have committed to using only proven, responsible recyclers. To be 100% certain your computer will be recycled, find an e-Steward location here.

Best: Does it still work? Extend its useful life, then, by donating it to someone who can use it. For instance, World Computer Exchange is a global education & environment nonprofit that helps connect youth in 67 developing countries to the skills, opportunities and understanding of the Internet while keeping working computers out of landfills. This group tests all equipment before sending it overseas, ensuring it won’t end up dumped, but not all similar groups take this protective step.

In Houston, the organization Comp-U-Dopt takes yesterday’s computer and uses it for a child’s tomorrow. They provide computers and technology education to enthusiastic, motivated children who do not already have a computer in their home. They encourage a donation of $5 per CPU or monitor to support this program.

Another Houston non-profit, Techs & Trainers, uses your old computers to provide meaningful work for people with barriers to employment and IT equipment to those with special needs.

Televisions

Good: Best Buy is offers free recycling for any brand of TV, up to 32″. Learn more here. Some locations have accepted different equipment, so be sure to call your Best Buy location to confirm before taking in your electronics.

Better: Thanks to state legislation passed in 2011, all TV makers selling products in Texas are now required to offer free recycling. Find a list of all manufacturer-based programs here. The problem is, not all of the manufacturers have adopted policies against sending e-waste overseas. To be 100% certain your computer will be recycled responsibly, find an e-Steward location here.

Best: Does it still work? Extend its useful life, then, by donating it to someone who can use it. Think the DTV switch made it obsolete? Not so fast — you can get a digital converter box to keep your old analog TV working. Learn more here.

Cell Phones, Pagers, PDAs

Good: Perhaps the easiest option, all Fedex/Kinkos locations accept cell phones and PDAs for free recycling. Find a location here.

Better: Just about every place you can buy a new cell phone will recycle your old one:
Sprint
AT&T
Verizon
Cricket
T-Mobile

Best: Because cell phones have more value than other e-waste, many non-profit organizations raise money through recycling programs. Here are a couple of examples, there are probably more in your community.
March of Dimes
Call to Protect

Small electronics

Good: All Best Buy stores offer free recycling for just about anything electronic. Learn more here.

Better: If it’s so old or bizarre that no manufacturer or retailer will take it off your hands, you need to find a responsible e-cycler. Caution: many so-called recyclers are actually exporting your electronics to be dumped overseas. That’s not recycling! Unfortunately, the only way to be 100% certain that your e-waste won’t end up dumped overseas is to take it to an e-Steward recycler. There are only a handful of these in Texas: Find an e-Steward location here.

Best: Does it still work? Give it to someone who will extend its useful life. Just because it isn’t the newest coolest model doesn’t mean it’s junk. List it in the “free” section of Craigslist, or join your local “Freecycle” network. Freecycling matches people with extra stuff to people who need it: learn more here.

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36 Responses

  1. Need to dispose of Mac G3, Epson 3000 printer, Microtek 5700 Scanner. Where can I take these in Dallas, TX?

  2. I have tons of old floppy disks. Where can I take these?

  3. We need to responsibly dispose of a broken CyberHome DVD Player. Where in Temple, TX can that be done?

  4. I need to get rid of four non -working tvs of which 2 are huge and 1 huge working. .Will pay a resonable fee for removal. I am a 78 y/o unable to lift.
    Thanks Mr C Grimes

    • Charles: the one that works is easiest. List it in the free section of Craigslist or Freecycle.org. Or, call your local Goodwill or Salvation Army to see if they’ll come pick it up for a small fee. As for the two smaller non-working sets, you can take them to Best Buy. They’ll charge $20 total but they’ll give you a $20 Best Buy gift card in return. As for the two larger non-working sets, those are tough. Certain brands of TVs do have free recycling programs — Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Sharp. LG or Zenith for instance. However their recycling sites are few and far between, and it sounds like you’d have a difficult time moving them anyway. Ask a friend or family member if they can help take the TVs to a recycling location listed here: http://e-stewards.org/find-a-recycler/

  5. Where can I dispose of old fax machines, printers etc?

  6. How do I dispose of a Sony 38″ inch tv? The tv is heavy and is 10 years old.

  7. where can I recycle a broken toaster. i live in georgetown tx?

  8. The Round Rock e-steward apparently doesn’t do business with individuals. Is there a local reliable (committed to responsible recycling) recycler who accepts obsolete remotes?

  9. […] Texas Take Back (Texas Campaign for the Environment) […]

  10. I have a old 42′ flat screen Samsung television. It fell off the wall so it does not function properly, but we did not want to throw it in the garbage of course. We don’t know where to recycle it. I am sure the parts may be reusable; however, the closest Samsung drop off is several hours away in South Texas. Is it possible Goodwill can use it?

  11. Where in Mcallen can I recycle old not working electronics

  12. Where can I dispose of toner cartridgers? Canon (#5) plastic, Xerox and Kyocera do not recycle anything. I don’t want to put these in a landfill.I cannot afford to ship them. Help, please. Thank you

  13. We are a large company and have electron tubes to recycle. Where can we safely dispose of these. This item came out of computer monitors. Apparently they have some type of gas that you have to be careful with.

  14. […] Here's a link where you can find out where to take all of your old electronic gadgets: E-waste Recycling in Texas […]

  15. Where can I recycle old CDs, diskettes, and Zip driver cartridges in the Dallas area?

  16. Hello, I would be grateful if you could provide a location in or around Austin, TX that provides recycling for vinyl products such as old vinyl window blinds, vinyl show curtains, etc. Is there such a resource that will recycle this? I have not been able to find one. However I can’t bring myself to throw these things away, but they are beginning to accumulate and I need to find somewhere to take them. Thanks

  17. sorry, that was meant to be *shower curtains

  18. Along with computer stuff, I have some children’s electronic toys and small electronics like a razor to dispose of. Also some rechargeable batteries that no longer work I live in Northwest Harris county (Houston area). Where can I take these?

  19. Along with computer stuff, I have some children’s electronic toys and small electronics like a razor to dispose of. Also some rechargeable batteries that no longer work I live in Northwest Harris county (Houston area). Where can I take these? Also please delete my previous post. I forgot to enable notifications on that one. Thank you very much.

    • From your description, I’d say you can take all of it to the nearest Best Buy. They offer free recycling for electronics and rechargeable batteries. Thanks for keeping it out of our landfills!

  20. It’s really a good thing, because by the help of recycling we can reuse our product that is not used right now. There is many organizations that can work on recycling process, I want to share one site that is specially work on the recycling processes. http://www.dynamicrecycling.com

  21. Great post! Been reading about disposing of my old computer. Thanks for the info!

  22. I have a 36″ RCA TV that is not working and need to dispose of it before I move. I live in Texas. Best Buy will not take it. It is too big and heavy for me to move by myself.

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