Wisconsin Computer & Electronics Recycling Service
In 2009, a law was passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature making it illegal to dispose of computers, computer monitors, printers, tablets, smartphones, computer peripherals, CRT or plasma or LCD television sets, and many other consumer electronic devices in Wisconsin landfills, or in dumpsters or household trash pickup bins. At the same time, this law created incentives for recycling companies to take outdated or non-working electronic devices and process them for recycling. While this law creates some inconvenience for homeowners and small businesses, it is very important, since it protects Wisconsin’s natural environment from dangerous pollutants.
- If just a million laptops were recycled each year, the energy savings could power over 3500 Wisconsin homes for a year.
- Computers and other high-tech devices manufactured each year contain more than 7500 tons of silver and 320 tons of gold.
- Over half of the precious metals in e-waste goes un-recovered through recycling and disappears into landfills, where it cannot be recovered.
- If we properly recycle even 50% of the plastics used each year in computers and other electronic equipment, we could save 3 million barrels of oil and keep 2 million tons of excess CO2 out of the atmosphere.
- Mining rare metals and rare earth minerals is wasteful. Recycling e-waste to recover those materials could save as much as 60% of the energy used and prevent up to 80% of the resulting pollution.
Environmental and Health Concerns for Wisconsin
Computers and other electronics devices contain many materials that can harm the environment. Metals like lead, mercury, cadmium, and chromium are part of many electronic devices and can leach into the groundwater when those devices are dumped in landfills. Once those metals enter the water supply, it’s almost impossible to remove them. Other chemicals compounds in electronic devices include toxic PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), which endanger not only humans but also Wisconsin’s wildlife.
With proper recycling, these metals and other materials are separated, recovered, and become part of other consumer and business products, or are disposed of safely. For example, there can be as much as 4-8 pounds of lead in a CRT monitor or television display tube, and in the solder on the product’s circuit board. Rather than releasing that toxic lead into the environment, recovering it lets it be used in other products, like car batteries and new electronics products.
Recycling Produces Jobs and Profits for Wisconsin Economy
Every year, 30-40 million computers become obsolete in the United States, and are taken out of service. Millions of computer peripherals and consumer electronics devices also become obsolete or become inoperable. Recycling these items produces thousands of jobs for workers, and recovers valuable raw materials. Metals, glass, and plastics are recovered and returned to the production cycle for use in new products. Valuable metals such as lead, cadmium, copper, and gold are also recovered and returned to useful purposes. One ton of computer scrap, for example, produces as much gold as 17 tons of typical gold ore. Recycling these products makes good economic sense, and protects Wisconsin’s precious natural environment at the same time.
Take Advantage of Wisconsin’s Electronics Recycling Industry
Wherever you are in Wisconsin, you’ll find nearby recycling centers where you can drop off your unwanted, obsolete, or inoperable computers, printer, peripherals, and consumer electronics devices. TV’s, VCRs and DVD players, video cameras, and most other consumer electronics devices can also be turned into valuable recycled materials, protecting Wisconsin’s environment and getting rid of clutter in your home.
On this website, you’ll find listings of recycling centers that accept all types of computer and electronics material. Arranged by counties, area codes, and major cities, you’ll find addresses, telephone numbers, and maps that pinpoint the locations near you. There may be a fee for dropping off these devices, and hours often vary. Some sites operate on a temporary basis, with drop-offs scheduled in advance. It’s always a good idea to call these recycling operations to get the details in advance.
Disclaimer: This web site was built as a public service by Computer Lifeline Corporation to help people in Wisconsin recycle old computers and electronics. Computer Lifeline Corporation has the sole discretion on whether, when, and how to list a recycling company regardless of any circumstances. Computer Lifeline Corporation reserves the right to add or change any business listings to this web site and remove any business listings from this web site without any obligations to any person, business or organization.