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Reuse & Recycle Electronics

Promoting and Practicing Environmental Stewardship for Electronic Products

Our "plugged-in" world relies on an ever-growing and constantly changing supply of electronic products. The rapid introduction of new electronic products shows no sign of abating, as better, smaller, and cheaper products replace "older" models. Electronic products may contain a variety of toxic constituents. For example, computer monitors, televisions, and circuit boards often include substances of concern such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. These substances have been included in the products for performance characteristics, but can cause problems if the products are not properly managed at end of life.

This growing, changing product stream presents new challenges and responsibilities in designing and managing electronic products to reduce their life cycle environmental impacts. By applying the principles of product stewardship, electronic equipment can be made with fewer toxic constituents and designed with upgradability, durability, and recyclability in mind, making these product systems more sustainable.

Overall, EPA's goal is to promote greater electronics product stewardship. Product stewardship means that all who make, distribute, use, and dispose of products share responsibility for reducing the environmental impact of those products. At EPA, our electronics work is anchored by three goals to reduce the environmental impacts of electronic products:

To promote these goals, EPA is engaged in several programs including:

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