Implementation of a new Pennsylvania Law concerning electronic recycling is
now in effect. Please review the information and help us make the
environment a little better....

Electronic discards include computers, monitors, televisions, printers, and other electronic devices. Today’s consumer electronic products are characterized by rapidly evolving technology and a relatively short product life. The average lifespan of a computer is currently about three to four years, and advances in technology for all electronic equipment, particularly cell phones, soon renders them obsolete. Due to the relatively low price of new equipment, items that break or become obsolete are often discarded into the waste stream rather than being repaired or upgraded. Given the sheer volume of electronics and the hazardous materials they may contain, consumers and generators are encouraged to seek environmentally safe options such as reuse or recycling when their electronics reach the end of its useful life.

Why are they Potentially Harmful?

Electronic equipment contains metals that, if not properly managed or contained, can become hazardous wastes:

  • Cadmium - The largest source of cadmium in municipal waste is rechargeable nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries.
  • Lead - Old monitors and televisions contain a cathode ray tube (CRT) that contain leaded glass. CRTs are the largest source of lead in municipal waste.
  • Mercury - Some electronic equipment also contains recoverable quantities of mercury.

Electronics may also contain other materials such as hexavalent chromium, brominated fire retardants, lithium, and phosphorous coatings that, if improperly disposed, can pose a threat to human health and the environment.

Implementation Schedule

Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, the Covered Device Recycling Act (CDRA, Act 108 of 2010) requires manufacturers of desktop computers, laptop computers, computer monitors, computer peripherals and televisions to provide recycling services to residents of Pennsylvania.

Beginning Jan. 24, 2013, the CDRA bans the disposal of these devices and any of their components in municipal waste.

Recycling Locations

For a list of recycling opportunities and locations provided by manufacturers for these devices, please click here Electronics Collection Programs & Drop-Off Locations. Additionally, electronics retailers are required to provide customers with information on how and where to recycle the materials that have been banned from landfills.

You may also find counties, local municipalities, or non-profit groups that collect electronics for recycling. The materials accepted by these collections vary. For a list of these collection sites and other information, click here.

Many electronic items such as cell phones, computers and televisions can be recycled at local retailers that sell the items. Check with your retailer for details of any programs they may have.

Spent rechargeable Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), and Small (weighing less than 2 lbs./1 kg.) Sealed Lead (Pb) batteries can be recycled through many retail outlets. These batteries are commonly found in cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, camcorders, digital cameras, and remote control toys. Find out where you can recycle them using the consumer information at

For further information regarding electronic recycling opportunities in your area, you can also call DEP’s Recycling Hotline at 1-800-346-4242.

Recycling Fees

The CDRA prohibits manufacturers and retailers from charging consumers a fee for the collection, transportation, or recycling of a covered device unless a financial incentive of equal or greater value is provided (e.g. a coupon or rebate). Covered devices include desktop computers, laptop computers, computer monitors, computer peripherals and televisions.

Collection locations may charge fees if they are not a retailer and are not affiliated with a manufacturer’s recycling program.

Any collection location, regardless of whether they are a retailer or are affiliated with a manufacturer’s recycling program may charge a fee for the recycling of non-covered devices.

How can I generate less electronic waste?

Reduce - Maintain and keep equipment as long as possible.