As you may know, your electronics and devices are ridden with plastics and heavy metals. Many of these components can have a damaging effect on the environment if they are left unattended in a landfill. However, there are several ways to reduce how your device negatively impacts the environment.
Recycling electronics cannot only mitigate risk of air and water pollution via landfills, but it can also cut down on greenhouse gas emissions sourced from the manufacturing of new products. Before upgrading to a new device, however, check to see if you can update your device's software instead. Also, you should delete all personal information from your device and wipe the memory if possible. This can usually be achieved by performing a factory reset or erasing all content and settings (instructions for iOS devices).
It is very important to remember that the rechargeable batteries in your electronics must be recycled separately, so always be sure to check with the recycling service as to whether they will recycle your battery for you. If they won't, the City of Williamsburg arranges bi-monthly collections of household electronics (bottom of page), which includes collection of rechargeable batteries.
Local options for device recycling include:
Swem Library - For those regularly on campus, stop by Swem for help recycling electronics, chargers, rechargeable batteries, and ink cartridges. Any brand and condition is accepted. Profits go to W&M's Green Fee fund that supports sustainability on campus.
Jolly Pond Convenience Center - Residents of Williamsburg and James City County can recycle their electronics including laptops, cell phones, computer monitors, consumer appliances, and more. The service is free of charge to residents and is available every day.
Staples - The Staples at Richmond Rd and Monticello Ave in Williamsburg offers electronics and ink cartridge recycling. (Ask them about their ink cartridge rewards program!)
Verizon Wireless - The Verizon Wireless store in Williamsburg will also accept cell phones, smart phones, and phone batteries for recycling.
Best Buy - The Best Buy in Williamsburg offers electronics recycling including TV recycling, which is not permitted at Jolly Pond. (They even offer haul-away options!)
City of Williamsburg - The City of Williamsburg offers a variety of recycling options.
William & Mary Hazardous & Electronic Waste Collection Day - One day each spring semester W&M holds a campus-wide event where electronics are accepted for recycling from W&M students, departments, and offices.