Keep Electronic Waste Out of the Landfill

Keep e-waste out of landfills with these alternatives.

| January/February 2004

Electronic waste: Computers

Every computer contains three to eight pounds of lead that contaminate groundwater if thrown in the landfill. If a computer you no longer want is still operational, donate it to an area nonprofit that collects them for school or community use. Obsolete models can be ­disassembled, and the lead removed and ­recycled.

Electronic waste: Cellular phones

In the United States, 130 million cell phones go out of service annually. The Wireless Foundation donates unused phones to victims of abuse through their Call To Protect Program. Recycled phones also go overseas to provide affordable phone service to people in developing countries.

Electronic waste: CDs

Over the next five years Americans will throw away more than 10 billion CDs. Many music stores buy and sell used CDs, and damaged or scratched disks can be repaired by professional refinishers for about $3 each. Obsolete or irreparable CDs, DVDs, and jewel cases can be recycled and their components used again.

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