recycling programs

Electronic Waste


Thousands of electronic goods such as computers, monitors, copiers, fax machines, printers, and televisions are discarded in Delaware every year. Product innovation has increased the pace of electronic upgrades accelerating the generation of unwanted electronics also known as e-waste. How to manage e-waste is a growing challenge as we search for ways to reuse, recycle, or properly handle this equipment.

What is e-waste?

E-waste is the industry term for discarded electronic goods such as computers, televisions, VCR, and DVD players.

Why focus on e-waste?

E-waste is the fastest growing portion of the total waste stream. If managed improperly, e-waste can pose a concern due to some of the components that make up the electronics – in particular, lead, mercury, and cadmium among others.

How is e-waste regulated?

Cathode ray tubes (CRT) in computer monitors and televisions can be considered hazardous waste if generated in large quantities due to the lead content. According to the EPA CRT rule, large quantity generators must dispose of their material in accordance with hazardous waste regulations if they are unable to reuse or recycle this material. For large quantity generators, CRTs are prohibited from DSWA’s facilities. For these generators, arrangements can be made for recycling by contacting DSWA’s Citizens' Response line at 800-404-7080.

Households also generate e-waste that include CRTs, but they are allowed to dispose of these wastes in the trash. While new municipal solid waste landfills are designed to handle this material from households, these wastes can be better managed in a designated program for collection or recycling. DSWA encourages residents to utilize DSWA’s Electronic Goods Recycling program for handling their e-waste.

So, what do I do with my e-waste?

So, while DSWA’s landfills are designed to safely manage this material, we encourage residents to follow the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle before resorting to landfills.

To reduce the amount of e-waste you generate, carefully review your need for electronic goods prior to making a purchase. Second, encourage reuse of those electronic goods that are still viable through donations. Last, recycle worn-out e-waste at one of DSWA’s electronic goods recycling facilities.

I’ve heard that the material is "recycled" by dumping it on developing countries creating greater environmental problems?

DSWA works closely with a domestic company located on the East Coast of the United State to ensure that all material handled is recycled responsibly.

How can I learn more about this topic?

For more information, please use the following external links:


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