Electronics

The Solid Waste Authority wants your used or outdated electronics.

There are thousands of electronic devices today that have made our lives more convenient and enjoyable. But care must be taken when disposing of these items when they have outlived their usefulness or new ones have been bought.

 

Instead of throwing away your used or outdated electronics, you can recycle them without taking up valuable space in our landfill or polluting our environment with the metals and other materials they are made of.

 

Examples of Electronics That the Solid Waste Authority Collects

  • Audio/visual equipment, such as VCRs, stereos, etc.

  • Computer CPUs

  • Computer monitors

  • Computer peripherals, such as printers, scanners, etc.

  • Televisions

  • Telecommunications equipment, such as phones, fax machines, etc.

Used Electronics Drop-Off Locations

Palm Beach County residents can bring their used or outdated electronics to any of the Solid Waste Authority’s Home Chemical and Recycling Centers during normal operating hours and simply place them in the marked electronics area provided. There is no cost to residents.

 

** For oversized items, such as copiers or business electronics, call the Solid Waste Authority at 561-697-2700 or 866-792-4636 (toll-free), or email.

 

How are the Used Electronics Recycled?

Collected items are sorted by SWA staff and hauled away by a private contractor.  Any useful components are recovered and reused when possible. Everything else is shredded and sorted into base materials such as plastics, metals and glass to be recycled into new products.

 

Interesting Facts About Electronics Recycling:

  • The average lifespan of a desktop computer, for instance, is only three-to-five years (though some people may keep them longer).

  • Consumers may not keep a cell phone for more than two years before exchanging it for the newer version that offers more features.

  • Used electronics that are still in working condition can be donated to schools, nonprofit organizations, and lower-income families.

A recent study by the Consumer Electronics Association found that:

  • 74 percent of consumers planning to purchase gifts this holiday season intend to buy consumer electronics as gifts.

  • Electronics sales will account for as much as one-third of all purchases.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency:

  • Electronic products are made from valuable resources and materials, including metals, plastics and glass, all of which require energy to mine and manufacture.

  • Donating or recycling consumer electronics conserves our natural resources and avoids air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by manufacturing virgin materials. 

  • Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 U.S. homes in a year.

  • For every 1 million cell phones we recycle, 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.

According to Palm Beach County Extension Service:

  • Less than 15 percent of old electronics are currently recycled or repurposed. That means 85 percent of them end up in landfills.

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