The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition estimates that consumer electronics constitute 40 percent of the lead found in landfills, and other toxic materials, such as cadmium, barium, and mercury, are all found in PC components. Because of this, many municipal refuse and recycling companies don’t offer curbside pickup of computer equipment.
Fortunately, computer-recycling companies meet this challenge. PC recycling is sometimes free; otherwise there may be a modest fee ($5 to $15). Call your city, town, or village hall to find out whether your area has a computer-recycling program. You can also search Google for computer recycling in your area, or check the Yellow Pages. Some computer vendors, like Dell and HP, accept PCs for recycling and reward you with gift certificates or discounts on future purchases.