It's a pain to get rid of old computers, printers, and other electronic equipment, isn't it? It's nice to be green whenever possible, so when I was looking to find a place to recycle an office printer, I started researching how this could be done here in Bozeman.
I was told that on Earth Day weekend, such items could be brought to the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. But I discovered that they are no longer doing this.
Gallatin County offers e-waste recycling. I'm including information from Gallatin County below on recycling e-waste. They also list several additional options to recycling these products, one of which is Staples. When I asked an employee at Stapes if they charge for recycling, he said they did not, contrary to what the county states below.
However, in all the cases, you must take or mail your electronic equipment. This was not too appealing to me, as the printer to be recycled was big and heavy.
My solution? Dumpnjunk! Dumpnjunk will recycle your e-waste for free. Even though their website states a specific day of the month to recycle e-waste, they collected the printer the next day. And they were even kind enough to haul it down a flight of stairs at no charge.
They will also remove the remains of your spring cleaning for a fee. So if you need to get rid of your junk without making a trip, Dumpnjunk just might be your solution, too! I found them very easy to work with.
If you prefer to dispose of your e-waste yourself, here are options listed on Gallatin County's site:
ELECTRONIC WASTE (E-WASTE)
Monday - Saturday, 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. No appointment necessary.
Household = $27/ton, Minimum of $5.00
Commercial = $48/ton, Minimum of $5.00
The e-waste should be separated from the rest of the load and will be disposed of separately. Please tell the Scale House Operator when you arrive that you have e-waste to drop-off for recycling.
When recycling e-waste, protect your privacy
Before recycling your computer, consider erasing the hard drive to protect your privacy and security. Simply deleting files from your "recycling bin" does not permanently remove them from the hard drive, and with some work, they can be reconstructed and accessed again. Free software known as "erasers" or "disk sanitizers" are available online to systematically write 1's and 0's over all of your data on the hard drive, this will render any personal data on the drive unreadable. Visit MT Department of Environmental Quality for free software that wipes your hard drive clean.
Other Disposal Options
Costco Trade-In Program gives you cash cards good for purchases and pre-paid shipping to recycle your used electronics. Sign up on the website, send in the equipment, it will be evaluated and then you'll receive a gift card in the mail. For laptops, cell phones, LCD monitors, digital cameras, mp3 players, blu-ray, gaming systems and more.
Dell and Staples Launch Free E-Recycling for Dell Customers. Consumers may now recycle their Dell brand computers, monitors, mice and more at any Staples branch for free.
Staples in Bozeman will accept any brand computer monitors, CPUs, printers and fax machines for fee. Keyboards, mice and speakers are accepted for free. Staples
Office Depot in Bozeman sells shipping boxes at various prices which you take home and fill with your e-waste. Then, bring the box back to Office Depot and they will ship your e-waste to a recycler.
More on recycling:
What to Do with those Dry Cleaner Hangers? - Make a DIY Shoe Rack
Managing Paper, Part 1
Need Some Christmas Cash? How to Sell Your Old Phones, Equipment and Gadgets