How to Recycle Your Household Electronics in Michigan

Personal media players and data assistants, laptops, notebooks, computers, televisions, cell phones and the list goes on and on.  These wonders of modern technology are filling our lives and our garbage cans. Many of these products are still usable; others have reached the end of their useful lives.  All have components that may be reusable, recyclable or a concern if released to the environment.

  • Televisions and computer equipment
  • Cell Phones
  • Other Resources

What can you do with your unwanted television or computer equipment?

If you have unwanted computer equipment, you may want to make sure that there is no confidential information on it before it leaves your hands. See the U.S. EPA fact sheet, “Do the PC Thing” to find free and low cost software to wipe data off your electronics.

Although it is still legal for households to throw their old electronics in the trash, several landfills are no longer accepting certain electronics such as older televisions and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes (CRTs). More and more communities, manufacturers and retailers are sponsoring takeback programs. Many are free. To find out if there is a community collection program available, contact your local recycling or household hazardous waste program.  To find a program for your brand of electronics or a program at a store near you, see the lists below. We do not guarantee that all programs are listed since new ones are starting up all the time. If you don’t see the brand or store where you bought your item on the list, contact the company to see if there is a program available.

Manufacturer (brand) sponsored recycling programs

  • Apple Equipment Recycling in the US. Apple will take back for free any iPod and your old computer when you purchase an Apple computer.
  • Best Buy national electronics recycling program. Starting on February 15, 2009, all Best Buy stores throughout the U.S. (except California) will accept for recycling computers, televisions (up to 32″) and other electronics. The charge is $10 for any unit with a screen (television or computer monitor) with a maximum of 2 units being accepted per customer per day. Customers will receive a $10 gift card in exchange for the fee.
  • Dell Recycling and Dell Exchange for home PC users. Dell will take back for free any Dell branded equipment.
  • Hewlett-Packard (HP) offers a variety of free recycling for branded toner cartridges and batteries. Low cost and special offers for recycling computer equipment.
  • IBMprovides a low-cost asset recovery system for computer products.
  • Sony Takeback Recycling Program. Sony is working with Waste Management, Inc., locations nationwide to provide free drop-off for its branded electronics.
  • Toshiba will pay for reusable electronics and direct consumers to recyclers through their recycling program.

Retail (store) Sponsored Recycling Programs

  • Costco Trade-in Recycle Program. Costco customers can trade-in a variety of notebooks, game systems, digital cameras and several other items for money or recycle desk top computer monitors, printers and fax machines at no charge.
  • Office Depot Tech Recycling Service. You can purchase a box for $5, $10, $15 and fill it with your old electronics including anything from a cell phone to a small television and return the unsealed box to Office Depot who will then recycle the equipment.
  • Staples Computer Recycling Program. Staples, the office supply store, began a takeback program in May 2007, to recycle any brand of old computer and related office equipment at all its stores, nation-wide. For a nominal fee, consumers can take back their equipment to Staples for recycling.
  • Drop off your computer equipment at a local Goodwill store. Goodwill in Michigan, in partnership with Dell will take back any computer related equipment for reuse or recycling. To find a nearby drop-off location call 1-866-48-REUSE (1-866-487-3873), or visit
  • Contact your local recycling or household hazardous waste program. Many community recycling or household hazardous waste programs sponsor electronic collection events. Click on your county to find a community program at

National Recycling Programs

Recycle It America. Recycle It America is a Minnesota based recycler providing a free, mailback recycling program for music players, laptops, cell phones, PC Systems and Flat Panel Monitors. Visit the site for more information and to print a postage paid mailing label.

What can you do with your old cell phones?

There are many reuse programs ranging from phones for soldiers and domestic abuse programs to refurbishing for resale. Below are only a few possible options. More and more cell phone stores and providers are taking back cell phones from their customers. Don’t let this valuable resource sit in the bottom drawer of your desk. If you have a cell phone you don’t use, please donate it or give it up for reuse and recycling. Cell Phone Collection Programs

  • Call2Recycle. This website includes a zip code driven database that provides information about where you can drop off old cell phones. The program is sponsored by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation.
  • ReCellular, a Michigan-based cell phone recycling company, offers free software to delete personal information from cell phones prior to donation.
  • Recycle Your Cell Phone–It’s an Easy Call. Plug-In To eCycling has teamed up with leading cell phone manufacturers, service providers, and retailers to encourage Americans to recycle their cell phones and accessories.
  • Wireless Recycling. This website contains a zip code driven database of over 3000 locations across the country where cell phones are collected, often to the benefit of charitable organizations. Other resources to find electronics collection programs.
  • Earth 911. This national database provides recycling information by zip code.

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