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New Uses for Old Electronics (AkLA 2022): Recycle / Safe Disposal

Companion page for a presentation given at the 2022 Annual Conference of the Alaska Library Association.


Much of the initial Alaska-specific information on this page of the guide came from Rebecca Colvin, Program Coordinator of the Solid Waste Program for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. I really appreciate her generosity in sharing information. 

Why Not Toss It in the Trash?

Your laptops, desktops and tablets should stay out of your local landfill because they contain a brew of toxic elements that can contaminate soil and groundwater. They can contain lead, mercury, rare earth and other toxic elements. For more on the problem of e-waste, check out the two articles below. Then either reuse, recycle or take your device to a hazardous waste center. 



Whether you're recycling, trading in, or dropping off your device at your local hazardous waste event, you need to make sure your device is wiped clean of all data, photos, software licenses, etc. Here are a few articles to help give your device a full memory wipe to protect your privacy.

General Electronic Recycling Resources

Do you know of other Alaskan e-recyclers? Drop Daniel a line!

Device/Retailer Specific Recycling

Do you know of other vendors retailers that will accept e-waste? Drop Daniel a line!

Is Statewide Electronics Recycling in Our Future?

While there is no current statewide program for recycling old electronics, there is an organization working on making a part of the Product Stewardship movement. Product Stewardship shares the responsibility of collection and recycling with the manufacturer under a defined financing mechanism to support the program’s activities. While the concept is new to Alaska, manufacturers are already familiar with it – they currently help to fund collection and recycling in 27 other states.