According to a survey released by the Pew Research Center most of American households have electronic devices that allow them to be “plugged in:”

  • Approximately 90% of American households contain at least one electronic device (smartphone, desktop/laptop computer, tablet or streaming media device).
  • One third have three or more smartphones;
  • More than 20% of households have three or more desktops; and
  • Approximately 17% have three or more tablets.[1]


There is a rapid escalation of electronic waste, otherwise known as e-waste, because of electronic industry’s growth and technology’s short product life cycle. [2] In 2012 less than 1/3 of the more than 3 million tons of e-waste was generated in the U. S. was recycled.[3]


When you are ready to upgrade your tech devices, donʻt just “toss it out.” There are several ways for you to “dispose” or recycle your outdated electronics.

When you purchase something new, see if the retailer offers a ‘take back’ program. If a take back program is not available, there are still a variety of ways for you to recycle your outdated devices.


Think about donating your computer equipment to local schools and organizations. Newer, working equipment is preferred, however, older or non-working equipment may also be accepted. While Hawaiian Hope and Hawaii Computers for Kids are just two Hawaiʻi organizations that accept tech donations, the National Cristina Foundation has a non-profit locator that can match your old tech with a organization in need.

You can also drop off your e-waste for recycling. Three participating retailers include Apple, Best Buy, and Goodwill Hawaii locations.

If you are interested in selling your old electronics, Book Off and Eco-Town Hawaiʻi have staff available to evaluate items and offer payment &/or store credit.

You can also donate your old cell phones after upgrading to a newer model.

Finally, donʻt forget about the batteries. Properly recycling batteries when upgrading technology is a must. Participating in Oʻahu periodic collection events, such as those hosted by Going Green or Aloha ʻĀina helps keep Hawaiʻi beautiful.

Taking advantage of these programs & services reduces the amount of e-waste in our landfills and helps us mālama our ʻāina.


[1] A Third of Americans Live in a Household with Three or More Smartphones
[2] E-Waste and the Importance of Electronics Recycling
[3] E-Waste Recycling Facts and Figures