Recycling electronics

October 31, 2009 11:37:13 PM PDT
According to the Consumer Reports national research center we're not doing so well with our old electronics.When it comes to recycling, more than half of us are doing pretty well with bottles and cans, and even better with paper and plastic.

That's according to the Consumer Reports national research center. But we're not doing so well with our old electronics.

Here's Samantha Boege's old fax machine. And this new computer replaced an old one that's now in the basement, providing a good resting spot for an old stereo component.

Samantha Boege said: "I don't even know where to get rid of any of the electronics."

Consumer Reports' Urvashi Rangan said Samantha is not alone.

Urvashi Rangan, Consumer Reports said: "it can be tricky finding places to recycle your old electronics. But the bigger problem is people throwing them in the garbage, not realizing that that can pose a danger."

A Consumer Reports national research center survey of more than two thousand Americans reveals only about 11 to 17 percent are recycling electronics.

Urvashi Rangan, Consumer Reports said: "Cell phones can be loaded with toxic metals such as arsenic, cadmium, and mercury. Old television and computer monitors can contain up to eight pounds of lead. When they break in a landfill they can pose an environmental and a neurological hazard."

Where do you start? First, look for a recycling center like Fresno-based electronic recyclers that takes computers, TVs, and other electronics. They dismantle and separate parts, and remove toxic metals.

Retailers like Best Buy, Office Depot, and Staples also accept electronic devices, as do many manufacturers. Consumer Reports said to find a location to drop off your electronics, check out earth911.com. You type in what you want to recycle and your zip code, and you get a list of centers in your area.

And remember, before you recycle an old cell phone or computer; be sure to remove your personal information.

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