Millions of electronics thrown out each year - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Millions of electronics thrown out each year

Cape Girardeau Public Works will take unwanted electronics. Cape Girardeau Public Works will take unwanted electronics.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - According to a recent survey from Best Buy, many Americans don't recycle their unwanted electronics because they don't know where to take them. They think it's a hassle or it costs a lot of money.The Environmental Protection Agency reports technology is the fastest-growing waste stream on the planet.

In fact, some estimates show up to 50 million tons of e-waste are disposed of each year.

The good news for many is that there are businesses like Best Buy, municipal recycling events and public works departments that will take your unwanted electronics, typically at little to no cost.

Click here for a list of electronics recycling businesses registered in Missouri.

You can drop off anything that plugs into a wall or takes batteries at the public works department in Cape Girardeau, but not everyone is aware of that.

"It is kind of a surprise to some people," Cape Giardeau Solid Waste Supervisor Michael Tripp said. "The usuals come in on a regular basis. But we do have people in Cape that call in and will ask 'Hey do you still take e-waste or do you have somewhere we can take it.' And we explain to them 'yes we're open down here where you can bring it down here for it.'"

According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, you can't just throw out your old electronics with your normal trash because then can be harmful to both people and the environment if they get into a landfill.

That is why states like Missouri and Illinois strongly encourage recycling or donating unwanted electronics.

According to Tripp, the spring is a very popular time for people to discard old electronics.

"During the nice weather we really get hit hard on our e-waste, our regular recycled material," Tripp said. "By the end of the weekend this will all be filled up... Anything that we can get recycled is better off than getting into a landfill."

Tripp said you will need to clear all the data off your hard drives and cell phones before getting rid of them.

Click here to find out how.

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