Recycling of old electronics required by law in Wisconsin

WAUWATOSA -- If you were lucky enough to receive some new electronics from Santa for Christmas, like a new TV or computer, be sure not to toss your old electronics in the trash! In the state of Wisconsin, it is actually illegal to trash these electronics - state law requires you to recycle them. Now, there's a way to recycle your outdated electronics, and help those in need this holiday season.

Jason Roe with Wired Wisconsin says it's important to think before you trash old electronics. "Obviously, during the holiday season, a lot of people are getting new electronics and then throwing away their old things. Whether it be a new computer, a new DVD player. In a typical old desktop computer and monitor, there is glass and other hazardous materials within those electronics," Roe said.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has set up recycling drop off locations throughout the state. In Milwaukee, there are over 30 collection sites, from Best Buy to the City of Milwaukee, to Goodwill Industries.

One such drop off site is the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Wauwatosa. Jeri Cavanaugh says your outdated electronics is their gold! They get money for each pound of old items collected. "We get a certain percentage on the TVs, and a higher percentage on the computers, and the money goes towards Habitat Milwaukee to help build houses.

We're hoping as people get new items, they will remember us and get rid of their old items," Cavanaugh said. This is Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity's first holiday season collecting recycled goods. Organizers say it's been a great way to raise money that will be used to build homes for deserving low income families. "If they want to, they can get a tax receipt, and then they have a place to dispose of (their electronics) free of charge," Cavanaugh said.