Should E-waste Be Collected Curbside?

According to a new survey by Pike Research, 35 percent of consumers think electronics should be collected in curbside recycling programs.

More than three-quarters (76 percent) of respondents think recycling is the proper way to dispose of e-waste, and 14 percent are willing to pay to recycle it.

And while you're out shopping for the newest technology this holiday season, have you thought about how many obsolete electronics you have lying around the house?

Pike's survey also found that the average consumer has 2.8 unused electronic devices sitting around the house.

Earlier this year, Pike released a separate study claiming that e-waste would plateau at around 73 million metric tons by 2015, and then decline as recycling programs are able to catch up to manufacturing efforts.

Especially during the holidays, when our waste output can increase by as much as 25 percent, ensuring that you recycle your old gadgets before replacing them with this year's latest and greatest models is a must-do.

One of the primary concerns with improper disposal of electronics is that they contain toxic metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury. They also have valuable metals like gold, which means they are sometimes broken apart without proper safety measures and toxins are released.

"The consumer is an integral link in the chain for electronics recycling and e-waste management," said Pike managing director Clint Wheelock.

"In order for the industry to achieve its goals, consumer values, attitudes, and behavior will need to support responsible handling of end-of-life electronics equipment."

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  • Lawrence Hill


    I am interested in recycling my computer waste and feel too many computers in my neighborhood are left on the curbside to only end up in landiflls. I live in the town of Mililani Hawaii on the island of Oahu. Being on an island we especially cannot afford to be filling up the few landfills we have with non-degradable andf hazardous e-waste.

    On a side note: This website has our Goodwill stores listed as begin sites to donate computers. I checked with these stores and none of them accept Computer donations.


  • John

    E-waste is considered “hazardous materials” it cannot be collected on the curbside.

  • Betsy

    E-waste is not considered hazardous except perhaps in California. It can be put at the curbside.