Recycle Electronics in Charleston

Apple old and new
Where do I put the boot disk?

Like most Americans, Santa brought you some new gadgets this year. Tablets, smartphones, Blu-Ray players, flatscreen televisions – it may be your first, or it may be replacing an outdated model. New or old, large or small, functioning or not, an important consideration is what to do with those electronics that have lost their usefulness. It will likely take an extra step, but hey, responsibility usually does. Do your part to recycle electronics in Charleston.


Why Not Just Toss It?

circuit board
Silver and gold and hexavalent chromium, oh my!

First let’s take a moment to discuss why it matters. Electronic devices – from SDRAM chips to your collection of keychain [amazon text=Giga Pets&asin=B004QVXOU2] – are manufactured with substances that can be intensely hazardous for everyone. Circuit boards contain a number of metals ranging from the valuable (gold, silver, platinum) to the perilous (lead, mercury, cadmium), none of which is desirable to leave degrading in our local landfill (think [amazon text=Erin Brockovich&asin=B00003CXFV]). Even worse times are had if they end up in an incinerator.


Is it still valuable and operating? Keep it, re-gift it, sell it, or donate it.

Grandma ComputerYou can keep that first generation iPad as a backup, or for use by guests. Consider giving it to someone who doesn’t need (or recognize) the latest and greatest – your kindergartner will love it, and so would Aunt Gertrude.

If no one you know wants it, then sell it – there’s always eBay.
Not worth the hassle of shipping? Donate it to a qualified charity – as a bonus it’s probably tax-deductible, so check with the IRS.


Is it dead? Recycle it.

There are plenty of drop-off points for used electronics that are nonfunctional or broken.
Charleston County recycles e-waste

    • The manufacturer or retailer you purchased from may be able to refurbish it. Check here to see if you can drop it off on your next trip there.
    • Charleston County will take care of it. Use one of Charleston’s drop off locations:

Charleston County Recycling Center (Downtown)
Bee’s Ferry Road Convenience Center (West Ashley)
Other locations are in Awendaw, McClellanville, Edisto Island, Wadmalaw, Hollywood, and Adams Run (more info).

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