Recycling Electronic Devices

The Pennsylvania Covered Device Recycling Act was enacted in 2010 and requires consumers to keep covered devices, such as cell phones, computers, laptops, monitors, and televisions, out of the trash. 

Pennsylvania's electronics recycling law changes the manner in which electronic devices are recycled. Trash and recycle haulers will no longer pick up televisions, computers, and other electronic devices for disposal in the waste stream. Electronic devices include televisions, computers, laptops, monitors, CPU's, printers, scanners, keyboards, mouse devices, speakers, cables and battery backups.  These items, if placed at the curb, will be left at the curb.

The law also requires manufacturers of devices to provide for the collection, transportation and recycling of these devices by establishing one-day events, permanent collection programs or mail-in programs. Under the Pennsylvania Covered Device Recycling Act, manufacturers of covered electronic devices must establish, conduct, and manage a plan to collect, transport, and recycle a quantity of covered electronic devices equal to the manufacturer's market share. Manufacturers must annually register with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and provide for the free collection and recycling of covered devices to Pennsylvania consumers. 

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 natural resources and avoids air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by manufacturing virgin materials.
For example:
Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 US homes in a year.
For every million cell phones we recycle, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.

Items Eligible to be Collected Under this Program

A covered electronic computer device is a computer (desktop, laptop), computer monitor, and computer peripheral (printer, keyboard, mouse, or any other device sold exclusively for external use with a computer that provides input or output into or from a computer). A covered television is a television with screen size greater than 4 inches measured diagonally. Cell phones are covered electronic devices.

Where to Recycle Your Covered Device

You can recycle your covered electronic devices at Best Buy, Salvation Army, Goodwill, Staples, and other locations. You can also recycle your electronic devices at special recycling events held by Montgomery County, schools, and other non-profit institutions. Montgomery County sponsors electronic recycling events during the year. The following link provides information on the dates, locations, and procedures for County electronic recycling events

Pick-Up-Please, an organization sponsored by the Vietnam Veteran’s of America, provides free pickup of electronic devices and other materials. For more information on which devices are eligible for pick up, go to their webpage.

For more recycling drop-off locations check out the DEP Drop-Off Locator