what are the steps of processing electronic waste

What Are the Steps of Processing Electronic Waste?

While you may not have much use for an outdated tube television or bulky computer monitor, these devices should not simply be thrown away with other household trash. Unwanted and outdated electronics should be recycled and processed in other ways to help minimize the environmental impact of a digitally-run world. Keep reading to learn what happens when old cell phones, computers, and televisions are processed appropriately by local waste management companies like Santa Rita Waste.

Proper disposal

Instead of throwing away electronics, consumers should bring them into a recycling center, which may be set up directly by a waste management organization or facilitated by local electronics retailers. Recycling electronics in this way is important for several reasons. Most electronic devices contain rare metals, which are difficult to mine and only available in limited quantities, so it is best to recycle these metals where possible. Additionally, electronics may contain lead and other hazardous materials that pose a danger when they are left in landfills.


You may have noticed that most electronics are complex devices with many parts. That means they need to be dismantled for recycling. Casing materials like wood, glass, and plastic are easy to separate and recycle. The more advanced structures inside of electronic devices are typically crushed and smelted in secondary facilities to further sort out the materials that may be reused.

Sorting and reusing

Nearly every component of an electronic device is sold to a recycling company and reused in some way. Metals are repurposed in newer technologies, wood from older television cabinets is chipped and used for biofuel, and plastics are recycled for a nearly endless variety of new uses. The entire process may take place at a number of different facilities over a long period, but it is important to maintain these practices to promote a greener future of technology.

For solutions to help you manage waste with LEED compliance in the Tucson area, contact Santa Rita Waste Systems at (520) 624-0550.