Wisconsin's electronics recycling law establishes a statewide recycling program administered by the Department of Natural Resources. The program, called E-Recycle Wisconsin, puts in place a system to collect and recycle discarded electronics from Wisconsin households and public schools.
What can I recycle?
- Computers (desktops and laptop, including netbooks and tablet computers)
- Desktop printers (including those that scan, fax and/or copy)
- Computer monitors
- DVD players, VCRs and DVRs
- Fax machines
- Mice and keyboards
- Other computer accessories including hard drives, speakers, flash drives and modems
- These items along with cell phones, are banned from Wisconsin landfills and incinerators as of September 1, 2010.
Electronics are the fastest-growing part of our waste stream today. Millions of TV's, computers and other household electronics become obsolete each year.
Many electronics contain valuable, reusable materials like gold, steel, silver, copper and glass. Recycling old devices reduces the need for new materials and cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions associated with manufacturing.
Recycling electronics protects human and environmental health. Electronics that are landfilled, incinerated or illegally dumped can release toxic materials like mercury, lead and cadmium into the air, water and soil. Recycling electronics helps ensure that these materials are reused safely or disposed of properly.
E-Cycling is an important part of product stewardship. By recycling our old electronics, we share responsibility for the products we buy and use from the beginning to the end of their useful lives.
Where Can I Recycle My Electronics?
Households and public schools may recycle electronics at locations across the state. For a full list of collection sites, see:
Some collectors may charge fees and may not accept all devices. Contact collectors beforehand to learn about their policies.
What Happens to My Electronics?
Electronics recyclers registered with E-Cycle Wisconsin must comply with state and federal disposal regulations that ensure environmental safety. Recyclers will break down your electronics, reuse or recycle safe materials, and properly manage hazardous chemicals or waste.
What about Data Security?
Before recycling your computer, it is important that you remove all personal or confidential information. Many retailers offer this service for a small fee, or you can do it yourself. Before choosing a collector or recycler, ask them how they handle data security. Some may not accept hard drives.