image of cell phone e-waste

A Handy Guide On How To Get Rid Of Old Electronics E-Waste

The majority of Bay Area homes are full of a variety of electronics.  Some brand new and others getting older every day like VCRs and 8 tracks.  Electronics are great to have to when new and working but quickly can end up just cluttering up your home.

As technology advances many electronics become obsolete as you upgrade systems.  The older items are typically much larger than the newer one and take up more space in your home than you might realize.  If your electronic item breaks most of the time it’s going to be cheaper to get a new one than to repair the old one. So what are you to do with your old, broken, or aging electronic items?

E-waste disposal is a growing industry that many people don’t quite understand how it works. Many homeowners are aware of E-waste pickups that the trash companies offer a couple times a year.  Or you may get flyers mailed to you or left on your doorstep for special E-waste pick up. But what are you to do if you are cleaning out your house and need to recycle your items right away? And why can’t you just throw these old electronic items like VCR’s, computers, TV’s, and more out with the regular trash?  We’ll answer that and more below.

What Is E-waste And What Are The Effects Of E-waste On The Environment

E-waste refers to electronic waste.  These items are technology items like cell phones, computers, TV’s, audio equipment, video equipment, and similar devices.  These are typically very useful items to people when they are working or until a newer model comes out.

The problem with these devices is that they are full of chemicals and other pollutants that are used in their creation.  They can even include hazardous materials like lead and mercury. If they are simply thrown away the pollutants can get into the local ecosystem and cause lots of problems and issues.

This is a problem that the entire world has to face.  As smaller and cheaper electronics are made available to people all over the world they replace other items.  In areas where E-waste is thrown away and not recycled harmful chemicals can leak out of the waste and get into the local drinking water.  This affects humans and wildlife alike.

In some places, E-waste is burned to destroy and get rid of the items.  This can cause many other issues. The smoke will release pollutants into the air and if the workers don’t take proper precautions and have the right equipment they can breathe in these harmful chemicals that are now airborne due to the smoke that is created while incinerating them.

Types Of Electronics That Can Be Recycled

If you are cleaning up clutter around your home and are questioning if an item is considered E-waste or not a good rule of thumb is if it is powered by a wall outlet or uses batteries then it is likely to be a candidate for E-waste.

Here is a partial list of E-waste items:



Audio Receivers

DVD players

Video Game Consoles

CD discs

DVD discs

Blu Ray Discs





Computer Mice

Computer Chips

Computer Wiring



Counter Top Appliances




Air Conditioners

Swamp Coolers

Portable Heaters

Laptop Chargers

Remote Controllers

Solar Landscape Lights

Electric Toothbrushes

Washers and Dryers

Audio Cartridges

Battery Operated Toys


Electric Thermometer




Mobile Phones

Phone Chargers

MP3 Players

Light Bulbs

If The Items Are Still Operational Consider Donating

Many E-waste items are still in good working order but the original owners upgraded and no longer use that type of electronic.  Like when you upgrade your home movie player from a VCR to a DVD or Blu Ray player. Lots of people out there still use or collect older technology.  You can help the environment, benefit a charity, and get a tax deduction by donating your working but unwanted E-waste.

Where Can I Recycle My E-Waste?

The hardest part of dealing with E-waste is making sure people know what options are available to them to recycle the harmful electronics that they no longer use.  Many people are aware that a few times a year flyers are left at their house where they have pickups. But that does you no good if you need to get rid of items right away and there are no pickups that will be coming up soon.

The good thing is almost every area in the United States does have some sort of system in place for E-waste.  From your local city services to private businesses set up to deal with and handle E-waste.

If you have any items that you would like to recycle you have many different options to choose from.  If you are in the Bay Area here are a few links to places that can recycle your E-waste.

Recology in San Francisco can schedule a curbside pick up of you can go to a drop off center and deliver your items yourself.

In San Jose, TDR Electronic Recycling has a location where you can drop off your items.

In the East Bay, Surplus Service offers pick up and drop off of E-Waste Items.

For cities outside of these areas just check your local listings for what locations in your area offer E-Waste recycling.

Another option in the Bay Area for E-waste recycling is to call Bye Junk.  Learn more below about Bye Junk’s E-waste solutions.

Have E-Waste?  Let Bye Junk Take Care Of It For You!

If you want to get rid of any unwanted E-waste or any other kind of junk then give Bye Junk a call and just say GOODBYE to junk.  Among our other services, we are fully equipped to handle E-waste removal, recycling, and disposal. We strive to do what’s right for our customers and the environment.  You can rest easy knowing we’ll dispose of your E-waste in a proper and responsible way. We’ll handle all the work and set up for you just give our friendly team a call at 1-855-444-JUNK and we’ll be right out to take it off your hands and clean up your place.

Where Does Your E-Waste Go Once It’s Picked Up To Be Recycled

It is becoming more and more common for e-waste to be recycled by state and local governments. Not many know what happens to our damaged and unwanted electronics after we drop them off. Different locations have varying processes in place, and some may need to adhere to local laws.

For the most part, the overall process is relatively similar regardless of your location. First, your e-waste is inspected to see if any of it is salvageable. Depending on the company, they may refurbish the items that just need a few repairs. If your electronic items are not able to be reused, it then gets sent to a designated recycling plant.

Once there, the items are broken into small pieces through the use of a shredder. Those small pieces are then organized by types of material such as plastic, metal, and computer chips. Those materials can then be sold to be used in other things. If there is an item that cannot go through the shredder, a recycling center employee will remove as many big pieces as they can, or anything that may cause damage to the shredder or other materials, like printer ink or dangerous chemicals.

The Pros And Cons Of E-Waste Recycling

There is no question that e-waste recycling is much better for the environment than just tossing old electronics into landfills. E-waste makes up about two percent of the amount of garbage in landfills. But when you consider the amount of toxic waste, e-waste makes up about seventy percent of the toxic waste in landfills.

Recycling your e-waste ensures that it does not add to the already disastrous amount of e-waste that sits in your local dump. The only real downside the comes from e-waste recycling is if the recycling company is not transparent about their processes.

To save money, some companies will ship e-waste overseas and sort through it. These areas do not necessarily have the same safety regulations as the United States, so people unknowingly become exposed to harmful chemicals in the areas the waste is shipped to. Only use reputable companies like Bye Junk when deciding who to dispose of your e-waste with in order to make sure your recycling is as safe as possible.

E-Waste Disposal Infographic - Bye Junk

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