There are more electronic products thrown in the trash now than ever before. Unfortunately, electronics such as computers, cell phones, TVs, hand-held devices and many others may contain hazardous or toxic materials, which can cause an environmental problem if discarded in the trash. For example:
- Computer monitors and televisions are hazardous because they contain significant amounts of lead.
- Printed circuit boards contain hazardous metals such as lead, chromium, cadmium and mercury, with significant variation depending on the board.
- Batteries in electronics may contain lead, mercury and cadmium.
- Compact florescent light bulbs contain mercury.
- Mercury-containing components like switches and relays are found in some electronics.
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) may be found in televisions and computers made before the early 1980s.
When you are finished with an electronic product, including personal computers and cell phones, ask yourself, "Can someone else use this?" If not, consider recycling options before placing the product in the trash:
- Drop off used cell phones, pagers and printer cartridges at the City’s Croydon Creek Nature Center located at 852 Avery Road.
- Call the City’s Refuse Division at 240-314-8568 to arrange for a free pick up Monday - Friday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Bring it to the recycling center at the Montgomery County Transfer Station (16101 Frederick Road,). Hours of operation are Monday - Friday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Check with the store you are buying the new product from to see if they will recycle the old one for you.