Electronics That Are Illegal in Wisconsin Landfills

A TV in the woods with Sadoff logo 13
Apr

How much time do you spend thinking about what you put in a landfill? Landfills are generally not a great thing for the environment. Even when used according to state and federal regulations, there are still many negative environmental effects including toxins, greenhouse gasses, and more. That’s just for the stuff that you can put in a landfill. What about all the stuff you’re not supposed to like electronics? Did you know that in most states it is illegal to throw away electronics? Wisconsin is one of those states. Let’s explore electronics that are illegal in Wisconsin landfills.

Don’t Throw Away These Electronics in Wisconsin

We will get into the exhaustive list of electronics in a moment, but before we do, just know that most electronics are illegal to throw in the trash in Wisconsin. Here’s a list for those that want to be sure.

  • Cell Phones
  • Computers/Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Computer Input Devices
  • Monitors
  • TVs
  • Speakers
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Hard drives
  • Computer Components
  • Flash Drives
  • Fax Machines
  • Disc Players
  • Gaming Consoles
  • Anything that Plugs Into a Computer

This list is only for electronics since that’s the topic of this post, but know that the actual list of things you can’t throw in a Wisconsin landfill is much longer. It includes most appliances ranging from microwaves and refrigerators all the way up to water heaters and furnaces. It also includes things that you can throw in your recycling bins like plastic bottles, glass containers, cardboard, and paper. Additionally, things that could be composted such as yard waste also shouldn’t end up in your garbage bins.

What Happens When Electronics End Up In Landfills?

Electronics are modern marvels. As a society, it would be hard to imagine our lives without these things, but their lifespan is often short. Sadly, despite laws and regulations, many electronics are still going to end up in landfills. Unfortunately, it isn’t good when this happens.

All electronics contain amounts of heavy metals including mercury, lead, and even arsenic. If you are holding your phone or tablet as you are reading this, don’t freak out. These metals are perfectly safe if you are not interfacing with them directly. They are also very necessary in the operation of your electronics.

The problem comes when your electronics are exposed to the elements, especially in a landfill setting. Items left in a landfill will undergo crushing force from above and also have to put up with an abundance of heat, bacteria, and water. All of these things combined will break your electronics down, but not in a good way. Those heavy metals will get released, and although landfills attempt to prevent bad compounds and chemicals from entering the water tables, it still happens. Even when it doesn’t happen that water still has to be run through an expensive water treatment plant, and the metals still go to waste.

Some landfills also practice incinerating garbage, which can be fine for some types of garbage, but for electronics that slip through, those heavy metals will be released into the air. This is why recycling those electronics is so important.

A bunch of crushed and destroyed computer components

Benefits of Recycling Electronics

There’s another reason why recycling these electronics is so important. In addition to all those harmful metals, there are a lot of other materials that are relatively easy to recycle. The metals just have to be removed and sorted, then they can become electronics and other useful things again. Why is this important?

When you throw something in a landfill, it’s never going to get used again in any capacity. Recycling your electronics puts those materials back to work. Not only is this smarter, but it helps us avoid mining more metals and materials out of the ground.

Read More: E-Recycling’s Role in Easing Supply Chain Constraints

You may not see these benefits. They do not have immediate impacts on your life, but for the purposes of a better and cleaner tomorrow, it’s the responsible thing to do. Not to mention, it’s the only thing to do if you are going to comply with state laws in Wisconsin.

Where Can You Recycle Electronics in Wisconsin?

Look around. You are on the Sadoff E-Recycling & Data Destruction website reading about this stuff. If you didn’t notice until now, that’s okay. We have locations spread all across Wisconsin including Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc, Green Bay, and Sheboygan. We also have locations for our friends in Nebraska with a La Vista location for B2B transactions and normal locations in Lincoln and Omaha.

We take everything listed on that list above. Recycling electronics often costs money, but to combat that and lower the costs to people and businesses who are trying to do the right thing for the environment, we keep our costs as low as possible. To do this, we price with market prices this means our prices may change depending on many things including the current price for metals. We also price different categories differently since everything contains different levels of recyclable materials.

Check Out Our Current Pricing

Can Sadoff do Data Destruction?

Of course, we can handle data destruction! It’s in the name, and it’s included when you recycle any piece of equipment that can hold data including hard drives and computer components. The recycling process thoroughly destroys any data that was contained in your device so you can gain some peace of mind. Your data is safe with us.

Read More: Data Security and Sustainability—A Cohesive Partnership

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