Garbage & Recycling

Recycle electronics instead of trashing them

By Bridgette Valdez-Kogle, DNR

Cell phones, computers, televisions and other electronics are a daily part of most of our lives. But the more electronics we use the more electronic waste we create. Electronic waste is the fastest growing component of waste in the United States. There are millions of pounds of electronic waste in Wisconsin alone.

Until now, Wisconsin households could throw away their outdated or broken electronics. But trashing electronics is not without consequences. Electronics can contain harmful chemicals like mercury, lead, cadmium and other heavy metals, as well as chemical flame retardants. When disposed of improperly, these pollutants can pose a risk to human and environmental health.<

Electronics also contain valuable reusable materials, including steel, gold, silver, copper and glass. Properly recycling these materials reduces the need for mining new materials.

“Electronics are resources that are too valuable to waste, and we can help both our economy and the environment by recycling them,” said Ann Coakley, director of DNR’s Waste and Materials Management Program.
Under a new electronics recycling law, passed in October 2009, Wisconsinites now have the opportunity to recycle their electronics instead of trashing them. The E-Cycle Wisconsin program, created under the law by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), provides electronics recycling options in many parts of the state and bans the landfilling of certain electronic devices as of Sept. 1, 2010.

“This is an exciting new opportunity for many of us in Wisconsin to recycle our electronics more easily and cheaply,” Coakley said.

The following electronics can be recycled through E-Cycle Wisconsin

  • Computers (desktop, laptop, netbooks and tablet computers)
  • Desktop printers (including those that scan, fax and/or copy)
  • Computer monitors
  • Televisions
  • DVD players, VCRs and DVRs
  • Fax machines
  • Computer mice and keyboards
  • Other computer accessories such as hard drives, speakers, flash drives and modems

All of these devices, along with cell phones, are banned from Wisconsin landfills and incinerators as of Sept. 1. For more information on the E-Cycle Wisconsin program, including a full list of collection sites, see For questions, contact the E-Cycle Wisconsin program at (608) 266-2111 or [email protected]

Collection Centers for E-Cycle in Wood County

Wood County Opportunity Development Center (ODC Inc.)

2406 E. Main St. Marshfield, WI 54449
Phone: (715)387-1161

1191 Huntington Ave. Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494
Phone: (715)421-2712

Veolia Environmental Services

2510 Engel Road, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495
Phone: (715)421-3939

Please note: There may be charges associated with recycling these items. Please call ahead to get the prices for your particular device.