An old television. A first-generation iPhone. The free printer that came with a new computer.
These once novel items are among the millions of tons of technology pitched into the trash or taken to recycling centers each year. Though states have been trying to get manufacturers to help pay for electronics recycling since the early 2000s, half do not have statewide recycling programs and those that do are evaluating how to make their programs work as the size, volume and value of recycled electronics change.
Many electronic devices should not be thrown away with regular trash because they contain hazardous materials, such as mercury and lead, which can seep into soil and groundwater. And much of the metal, plastic and glass in devices can be recycled.