What Do I Do With?

Five Ways to Recycle Your Computer

Cristie Snyder

Recycling your computer helps ensure that valuable materials like plastic, aluminum, copper, and gold that were used in making the computer don’t go to waste. Just as important, though, recycling keeps some of the less desirable materials found in computers such as mercury, lead, and other heavy metals out of our natural environment. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 U.S. homes in a year. The following guide gives you details on where to recycle your computer in Cuyahoga County.

1. At a City Service Department
Residents of the 59 communities in Cuyahoga County can recycle unwanted computer equipment and peripherals at the city service department throughout the year. See more about computer recycling in your community here. Many cities offer year-round collections and some hold seasonal collection events, usually in spring or fall. Do not place your computer in curbside recycling.

2. At a Nonprofit Computer Recycler
Computer equipment in Cuyahoga County can be delivered to RET3 Job Corp., a nonprofit computer recycler that works towards providing students with technology skills for the workplace and drives economic development in the region. RET3 is located on Cleveland’s east side at 1814 East 40th Street. Drop-off hours are Monday through Friday at the rear of the building from 8:00am-3:00pm. Contact RET3 job corp. at 216.361.9991. RET3 is a nonprofit, and you can receive a tax receipt for your donation. To obtain a tax receipt call the Solid Waste District at (216) 443-3749 or send an email with your name and mailing address so a receipt can be mailed to you.

The Solid Waste District will not determine the value of your donation so visit the IRS website (Publication #561 or Publication #526) or call the IRS at (216) 415-3442 to learn how to place a value on your donation.

3. At a Retail Store
Many retailers now accept computers to be recycled, but usually from individuals only (not from businesses.) Best Buy accepts computers in the store but limits the number of items they take to three items per household per day. Staples will accept any brand of office technology in any condition (including computers), regardless of where it was purchased. They’ll even give you a Staples eCash Card to use towards anything in the store if they inspect your computer and decide that it has adequate value.

4. At a Local E-Waste Company

Local e-waste companies will also recycle computers. For information on e-waste companies in Cuyahoga County that will accept computers from both individual consumers and businesses, click here.

5. At a Registered Recycler for Business Waste
Businesses with computers to recycle can contact RET3 for pick-up and drop-off requirements or consult our list of registered local computer recyclers that can be found in our online What Do I Do With? search engine. If you need help setting up a waste reduction program for your company or business, contact the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District’s Business Recycling Specialist at 216.443.3732.