Electronics don't belong in the garbage. Electronics may contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium or mercury, which are harmful to human health and the environment. Numerous recycling options are available in the Twin Cities area.
Electronics Recycling Options
- Retailer recycling options: Several retailers offer in-store and mail-back recycling programs.
- Manufacturer recycling options: Many manufacturers offer a variety of recycling programs for televisions, computers and other electronics.
- Electronics recyclers: There are many electronics recycling service providers in the Twin Cities metro-area, including county facilities, offering drop-off and pick-up services for electronics recycling.
- City and neighborhood collection events: Electronics are collected for recycling on most municipal recycling drop-off days and at many community clean-up events. Contact your municipal recycling coordinator for information about seasonal events.
- Garbage haulers: Some garbage haulers offer service for electronics recycling. Ask your hauler if this service is available.
For recycling options outside of the metro-area, visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Choosing an Electronics Recycling Option
Before choosing a recycler, ask about:
- Types of electronics accepted
- Where e-waste is sent for recycling
- How all hazardous components are managed
You should remove all personal data from your electronics before recycling them. Personal data may be stored on data 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. You may purchase a disk cleaning utility for your computer's hard drive or choose a recycler who provides data removal or data destruction service (some recyclers will charge an extra fee for data destruction).
For more information contact your county.
To reduce the amount of e-waste you create, consider the impact of the items you intend to buy. Try to purchase items with a long product life. You could also consider purchasing used electronic items. If you're giving electronics as a gift, consider if the person really needs the new item and if there are any less-wasteful gift options.
If an electronic item you no longer use still works, try to find someone who can use it. You could re-gift the item, sell it, or donate it to a local organization.