top of page




Electronic Equipment Facts

  • Electronic equipment contains a variety of hazardous substances that require special disposal such as:

    • Cathode ray tubes and glass found in computer monitors and television screens contain large amounts of lead

    • Circuit boards and electronic wiring contain lead, chrome and other metals

    • Relays and switches can contain mercury

    • PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) can be present in older, larger equipment, and can cause health issues such as endocrine disruption and neurotoxicity

    • PFAS are often used in electronic manufacturing* and can cause negative health effects such as decreased fertility, developmental delays in children, cancer, reduced immune system, increased risk of obesity

    • Some materials can be recycled such as lead (Pb), silver (Ag), barium (Ba), cadmium (Cd), and mercury (Hg)

  • Most components involved in electronics manufacturing do not decompose in landfills, and won’t be destroyed if combusted in a waste-to-energy facility

  • If electronics are disposed of improperly, the components can contaminate the environment

Electronic Equipment Management Strategy

Electronic Equipment Management Strategy

Conducting a workplace assessment for electronics equipment management

  • Survey the electronic equipment that your business uses

    • If you have an equipment change-out planned, include that in your estimate

  • Selecting a contractor

  • Explore your recycling options

  • Educate your maintenance and technical staff about how to implement the management strategy

  • Inform them of the importance of recovering electronics

  • Coordinate storage, packaging, and shipping logistics with appropriate staff (building engineers, information technology or audio-visual specialists, maintenance workers, custodial staff, etc.)

  • Kick-off the management program with an informational meeting with participants to recruit their support

  • Periodically review the program to evaluate its effectiveness and to make improvements


Safe Storage and Handling of Electronic Equipment

From the Know Toxics Universal
Waste & Used Electronics Training Manual

This and other information on safe storage and handling of electronics can be seen in the Know Toxics Universal Waste & Used Electronics Training Manual*, pages 27-29.

  • The EPA and DEQ recommend proper recycling of used electronics, especially since many of these items contain rechargeable batteries, which are universal waste

  • A handler of used electronics should manage used electronics in a way that prevents releases to the environment

    • Store electronics in a room with four walls, a ceiling and a roof, or in the cargo portion of a truck

      • Anywhere that will prevent leakage or release to the environment

    • Items in the storage area should be properly labeled

    • Immediately clean up any spills or broken items and place materials in a container for proper disposal

  • Companies, governments, manufacturers, and individual purchasers are responsible for properly recycling their discarded materials in a safe and environmentally sound manner

  • In the absence of federal and state oversight, a company may want to consider a recycler that participates in an independent certification program to reduce their liability

Additional Resources

*External link. The Northern Virginia Regional Commission does not author third party sites and their reference is for educational purposes only.

Storage and Disposal

How do I dispose of my used electronic equipment?​

Before Donating or Recycling Used Electronics​

  • Consider upgrading the hardware or software of a device instead of buying a new product

  • Delete all personal information from the electronics

  • Remove batteries as they may need to be recycled separately

  • Find a recycling facility 

  • Call2Recycle*, Earth911*, and the Consumer Technology Association* have recycle locators to help find locations that accept electronics

Document (5).jpg
Resources and Regulation

Resources and Regulations

DEQ Regulations*

More Resources

bottom of page