E-Recycling (also known as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment or WEEE, which is a much better name!) is coming to the attention of the cities and counties in South Carolina much more frequently now, as there is somewhere within 20 miles to recycle your electronic waste at least once every month or two. Some e-waste drop off locations require you to show proof of residency in that particular city or county, so please make sure that you have the proper documentation before you load a truck full of old monitors!

Your local city or county website is a good place to start to find out where to cart your compu-trash, as well as Keep the Midlands Beautiful and Sustainable Midlands. Mark these dates on your calendar so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to clear out your husband’s collection of computers from the late nineties and feel the temptation to just put them out on the curb just to get them out of sight!

The Best Buy in Lexington, SCĀ  (and other Best Buys in the country, I am sure) do e-waste recycling, but check their website for restrictions. I recently took two old computer towers to the Best Buy in Lexington, and got them inside only to be told that the hard drives were still in but that they would be happy to remove them for $30. I asked the guy at the desk at the entrance for a screwdriver and he kindly obliged and watched me kneel down and remove those hard drives like it was nobody’s business. I think the fact that I was out in the middle of the day on a weekday getting rid of what was obviously my husband’s crap may have led him to believe I was just a dumb housewife.

(Photo credit: veer.com)

However, he graciously carried the dusty, hard drive-less towers over to the customer service desk for me when I was done and then I left the computers to their next stage in life. Be aware that if you take in “anything with a screen” that they will charge you $10, but will give you a $10 Best Buy gift card in return. Again, check their website or call your local Best Buy for specifics on this great service that they offer.

For your convenience, a checklist of things to keep in mind before you go WEEE! and recycle your electronics:

See if you need proof of residency to drop off at a city/county site

See if there are any associated fees (particularly with screen items such as TVs or monitors)

Check to make sure hard drives are removed from computers

Ask (or read in the announcement) what electronics waste the site will or will not accept

For further reading on the importance of recycling your WEEE, Wikipedia lists a lot of the hazardous chemicals and ill effects that not recycling has on the environment and the future.