Many businesses generate electronic waste including computers and peripherals, telephones and TVs. Electronics are banned from the garbage in Minnesota because they may contain toxic heavy metals such as lead.
Benefits of recycling electronics
Recycling your electronics has several time and cost-saving advantages:
- No hazardous waste generator license is required for these wastes in most circumstances.
- No license fees or reporting is required for these wastes if no other hazardous waste is generated by your business.
- You can transport your own waste in accordance with MnDOT's hazardous materials transportation requirements to the recycling facility.
- You can record waste shipments on a waste-tracking invoice rather than a hazardous waste manifest.
- Recycling is often less expensive than managing under full hazardous waste requirements.
There are numerous local electronics recyclers. Recyclers disassemble equipment, salvage parts and send unused materials to final processors.
It is important to ensure that you are using a reputable recycler that manages electronics properly. When searching for a recycler for waste electronics, be sure to check the following:
- What fees are charged?
- There are fees associated with the proper management of electronics.
- Is the recycling done domestically or abroad?
- If your e-waste leaves the country, you may have additional concerns regarding how those wastes are ultimately being managed because of your ongoing liability.
- How are Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs - found in some TVs and computer monitors) and circuit boards processed?
- The response the recycler gives can help you determine whether it is a legitimate recycling process or not.
- Can the recycler provide certification that explains the disposition of the equipment and its parts, or can they provide references?
- As with all waste, businesses are responsible for their waste electronics forever. Carefully track and document how yours is managed.
For disposal information, see Hazardous Waste Disposal Companies.