Your go-to guide for waste & recycling in the Twin Cities.
Electronic waste, or e-waste, is waste that has a circuit board, a cathode ray tube (CRT), or contains heavy metals such as lead, cadmium or mercury that are harmful to human health and can pollute our air, land and water if thrown in the garbage. Plus, many of the components used in electronics can be recovered and recycled.
There are numerous convenient recycling options available in the Twin Cities area, in addition to various county Household Hazardous Waste facilities where you can recycle your electronics.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency registers other collectors and recyclers. View the most recent version of the State of Minnesota registered disposal sites.
Remove all personal data from your electronics before recycling them. Personal information may be saved on storage devices including internal and external hard drives, disks, CDs, DVDs, memory cards, and USB drives. Some locations that accept electronics for recycling require that personal data be removed. Disk cleaning utilities can be purchased to clear your computer's hard drive. Some recyclers provide data removal or data destruction service (some will charge an extra fee for data destruction).
To reduce the amount of electronic waste you create, consider the impact of the items you intend to buy. Try to purchase items with a long life. Consider purchasing used electronic items if possible. If you're considering electronics as a gift, make sure the person really needs the new item and seek out less-wasteful alternatives.
If an electronic item you no longer use still works, try to re-gift the item, sell it or donate it to a local organization. Ask if a local charity would like your items before donating. Donating electronics to a charity that can’t use them puts the burden of disposal onto them.