Pro Junk Dispatch

How to tell when electronic waste (e-waste) is hazardous.

By Sean R

How to deal with an overloaded dumpster

Electronic waste, often referred to as e-waste, typically includes discarded electronic devices such as computers, laptops, tablets, phones, servers, uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), televisions, and more. Most e-waste contains a variety of materials, some of which can be hazardous. Here's how to determine if e-waste is hazardous:

Presence of Toxic Materials: Many electronic devices contain toxic substances like lead, mercury, cadmium, beryllium, and brominated flame retardants. For example, older CRT monitors and televisions have lead in the glass of their screens, while circuit boards can contain a variety of hazardous metals.

Battery Inspection: Batteries, often found in laptops, phones, and UPSs, can contain lithium, nickel-cadmium, or lead-acid, which are considered hazardous and can pose environmental and health risks if not disposed of properly.

Labeling and Product Information: Check the labels and manufacturer's information for any indications of hazardous materials. Some electronics are labeled to indicate the presence of hazardous substances.

Age of the Device: Older devices are more likely to contain hazardous materials. For instance, newer models of electronics are often made with fewer hazardous substances, in line with more stringent regulations.

Recycling and Disposal Information: Most manufacturers provide information on how to recycle or dispose of their products safely. Check their website or product manuals for such information.

To handle e-waste properly:

  • Do not dispose of e-waste in regular trash: Hazardous or not, e-waste should never be disposed of with regular waste due to the potential for toxic substances to leach into the environment.
  • Use certified e-waste recyclers: Certified e-waste recyclers ensure that hazardous materials are handled and disposed of safely. They can also recover non-hazardous and valuable materials for reuse.|
  • Check for take-back programs: Many manufacturers and retailers offer take-back programs where they collect old electronics for proper disposal or recycling.
  • Donate if possible: If the electronic item is still functional, consider donating it to extend its life and reduce waste.


The Benefits of Professional Construction Debris Removal


Local Hazardous Waste Collection: Some municipalities have special collection days for hazardous waste, including e-waste. Check with your local waste management authority for guidelines.

By being aware of the potential hazards and disposing of e-waste responsibly, you can help minimize environmental impact and promote the recycling and reuse of valuable materials. If you have an unusually large amount of e-waste to dispose of, Pro Junk Dispatch can help you get rid of it. Give us a call