Houston Expands Electronics Recycling Across The City

In an attempt to divert electronic waste from landfills — Houston officials will open dozens of new locations where people can drop off old computers and electronic parts for recycling.

Houston offers electronics recycling on Saturdays at three of its recycling centers.

Last year, the City of Houston Solid Waste Department collected 660 tons of electronic waste at those centers.

Department Director Harry Hayes says Houston residents spend about $1.2 billion a year on electronics, which amounts to about 22 million pieces that could eventually end up in the city's landfills.

"That's about 139,000 tons of material that's sitting out there that needs to be effectively managed. And for Houstonians, that's about $3.5 million in waste desposal if it ends up in the garbage bins. And we don't want that to happen."

The city has formalized an agreement with CompuCycle to maintain 30 drop-off sites around the city, with the goal of adding 20 more by the end of the year.

Clive Hess is president of CompuCycle, a locally-owned electronics recycling company.

"All equipment is processed in Houston at CompuCycle's facility, safely, securely and responsibly. The data from drives and media is destroyed and the equipment is recycled effectively and efficiently."

The drop-off sites will accept any household electronics, including computers and cell phones, but also things like toasters, hairdryers and alarm clocks. 

The drop-off locations cane be found here.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...