The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced a new department survey finds there were more households recycling or reusing unwanted electronics instead of storing them, although many are still hanging on to televisions, computers, or cell phones in 2021.
Among households with computers or cellphones they no longer wanted during the previous 12 months, the most common action was to put them in storage. About half had stored unwanted cellphones and 56% had stored unwanted computers. For TVs, the most common action was to recycle or reuse them (60% of respondents), compared with 37% who stored unwanted TVs. Only a small percentage of respondents reported putting a cellphone (2%), computer (1%) or TV (3%) in the trash.
The DNR has conducted six statewide household recycling surveys since 2010, when Wisconsin’s electronics recycling law took effect. As of 2021, households and schools have recycled more than 350 million pounds of electronics through E-Cycle Wisconsin.
The DNR maintains an up-to-date, interactive list of E-Cycle Wisconsin collection sites and mail-back programs, which allows residents to map nearby collection sites, look up locations by county and find free trade-in and mail-back programs.
The DNR has also launched a new E-Cycle Wisconsin Electronics Collection Grant Program, which will provide small grants for collection sites or events in areas that currently lack consistent electronics recycling options. The application deadline is April 29. More details on the program are available on the E-Cycle Wisconsin Information for Collectors page.