Top Questions from Residents on Electronics Recycling Fact Sheet

Top Questions from Residents on Electronics Recycling
Fact Sheet
Top Questions from Residents on
Electronics Recycling
Why can’t I put my TV or computer in the garbage?
As of July 1, 2006, electronic products containing a cathode ray tube (CRT)
may not be placed in the garbage (Minnesota Statutes §115A.9565). A CRT
contains 2 to 8 pounds of lead. Most TVs and computer monitors contain a
CRT and must be recycled. Recycling keeps TVs, computer monitors, and
other electronics out of the garbage and conserves natural resources, and
prevents harm to public health and the environment. Visit your county
website or call your county to find electronics recycling options.
Metro Area County Contact Information:
Anoka County: 763-323-5730,
Carver County: 952-361-1800,
Dakota County: 952-891-7020,
Hennepin County: 612-348-3777,
Ramsey County: 651-633-3279
Washington County: 651-430-6655,
Outside the metro area contact:
My county told me I need to recycle my electronic waste. What is
considered electronic waste?
Electronics waste, or e-waste, is any waste that has a circuit board or a
cathode ray tube (CRT).
Minnesota’s 2007 electronics recycling law
specifically addresses the following electronic devices from households:
 Televisions
 Computers: central processing units (CPUs), monitors, laptops
 Computer keyboards, speakers, printers, and other peripherals
 VCRs and DVD players
 Fax machines
Other electronics, such as cell phones and stereos, can also be recycled but
are not addressed in Minnesota’s 2007 electronics recycling law. Materials
accepted for recycling vary by option and location. Visit your county website
or call your county to find out more information.
What are my options for recycling my electronic waste?
Recycling options for household electronics available to Twin Cities metroarea residents include:
 Take-back programs: Some manufacturers and retailers will take back
your old electronics for recycling.
 Garbage haulers: Some haulers pick up electronics for
 Recycling companies: You can drop off your old
electronics at a recycler. Some recyclers pick up
electronics for recycling.
Top Questions from Residents on Electronics Recycling
Government recycling programs: Your city, county, or neighborhood
may pick up electronics or offer drop-off sites.
Will someone pick up my electronic waste at my home?
Some companies offer pick-up of electronics waste at the curb or in the
home. A fee may be charged for the pick-up. Also, some garbage haulers
offer pick-up of electronics waste. Contact your hauler to find out if this
service is available. When you contact a recycling company or garbage
hauler, be sure to ask if the pick-up is at the curb or in the home to make
sure the service will meet your needs.
Do I have to pay to recycle my electronic waste?
There may be a fee to recycle household electronics waste, depending on the
specific recycling option you choose. A fee may be charged to recycle some
kinds or brands of electronics waste, while others may be accepted at no
charge. A fee may also be charged for additional services such as data
destruction, pick-up or mail-in. Refer to specific recycling options for details
on service and fees. Some options are available at no charge.
Fees collected for electronics recycling pay for expenses such as
transportation of electronics waste, training and labor for disassembly of
electronics, and proper disposal of hazardous components.
How do I protect my security when I recycle my electronics?
 Prior to deleting personal information, backup or transfer any data you
may need.
 Remove the data on the hard-disk drives and any other storage
devices in the products.
 Remove media, such as diskettes, CDs, or PC cards.
You can purchase a disk cleaning utility for your computer or choose a
recycler that provides data destruction services. Visit your county website or
call your county to find recyclers that offer data destruction.
Can I donate my old electronics somewhere?
There are many donation programs available for old cell phones. Many of
these programs benefit charities.
For other items, some local charities may accept usable electronics – call first.
Residents may also consider posting unwanted, usable electronics on the
Twin Cities Free Market, an internet-based listing service for residents who
want to give away or get free reusable goods for their home, garage or
I have a computer from my business that I need to recycle. Does
that matter?
Recycling options for electronics waste from businesses are available;
however, businesses must not use programs designated for recycling of
household electronics waste. For information on electronics recycling options
for businesses, visit your county website or call your county for business
recycling options.
How will I know that my electronics will be properly recycled?
To ensure proper recycling of household electronic waste, select a recycler or
collector that is registered with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Under
Minnesota’s 2007 electronics recycling law, recyclers must register and certify
that they:
Top Questions from Residents on Electronics Recycling
 Comply with health, environmental, safety and financial regulations;
 Be licensed with governmental authorities;
 Use no prison labor to recycle; and
 Possess liability insurance of not less than $1,000,000.
Ask your e-waste collector or recycler how and where they manage the
hazardous components found in electronics, such as CRTs, fluorescent lamps,
batteries and circuit boards. Contact your county to find a registered
household electronic waste collectors and recyclers in your area.
What is the digital TV (DTV) transition on February 17, 2009 and how
does it affect my current TV?
The switch from analog to digital broadcast television is referred to as the
digital TV (DTV) transition. Broadcast stations in all U.S. markets are
currently broadcasting in both analog and digital. After February 17, 2009,
full-power television stations will broadcast in digital only.
Analog TVs Will Need Additional Equipment to Receive Over-the-Air
Television When the DTV Transition Ends
Consumers who rely on antennas (including outside antennas and "rabbit
ears") to receive broadcast signals on TV sets having only analog tuners will
need to obtain separate digital-to-analog set-top converter boxes to watch
over-the-air TV. These boxes receive digital signals and convert them into
analog format for display on analog TVs. Analog sets connected to such
converter boxes will display digital broadcasts, but not necessarily in the full,
original digital quality.
Converter Box Coupon Program
Between January 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009, all U.S. households will be
eligible to request up to two coupons, worth $40 each, to be used toward the
purchase of up to two, digital-to-analog converter boxes. The National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is responsible for
administering the coupon program. More information can be found at
Analog-only TVs should continue to work as before with cable and
satellite TV services, gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar
For more information, call the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888225-5322 (TTY: 1-888-835-5322) or visit the Commission’s digital television
website at:
Where can I learn more about recycling electronics?
For more information on electronics recycling visit
September 2008
This fact sheet was provided by the Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board as a part of the Electronics
Recycling Campaign. Please help us track the use of this campaign. Please send an e-mail to with a description of how the fact sheet was used, the date it will be published, and
the estimated circulation of the publication. If you have any questions about the campaign, please contact Amy
Roering, 612-348-8992.