The “Do Not Throw Away” List

What to do with Electronics (and other non-disposable stuff)

The big question we get at least once per week is what should we do with electronics (mainly TVs) and a select few other things. Great question…and honestly we’re about out of answers. More and more electronic drop off locations are shutting down their programs here in the wonderful Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (and all over the country for that matter). Disposal locations for other materials are becoming limited as well as the State decides what should and shouldn’t go to a landfill and recycling centers decide what they can and cannot recycle. It’s a shame that there’s stuff we manufacture, purchase, and consume that we can’t dispose of at the end of its useful life, but hey, you’ll need to write to your legislatures about that. Please be aware that the things listed in this post as things that we cannot take with your waste disposal are not chosen by us. It is the law.


Our suggestion is to call your municipality or city and see if they have suggestions. If they don’t then we suggest calling the county. If the county doesn’t know what to do with it then we recommend calling the state (good luck, you’ll need it).

All the places we used to suggest are no longer taking these items. What that means is if you call us and ask us what you should do with your TV, computer, computer screen, laptop, cell phone, printer, scanner, ect. ect. ect. we are going to give you a very simple and unfortunate answer…we don’t know for sure. However, we have found that Best Buy and Staples have electronics recycling programs.

Staples only takes specific brands of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, however they will pay you or give you store credit for somethings. To learn more about Staples’ Recycling program look Here. 

Best Buy takes a larger variety of things including appliances, TV and Video devices, Computers and Tablets, Cell Phones, Radios, Ink and Toner, Batteries, Audio Devices, Gaming Consoles and More. Some items can be traded in for a payout of some type. However, even if your items don’t have trade in value Best Buy will still recycle it. To learn more about Best Buy’s Recycling program look Here.

Other non-disposable stuff

This is where the good news starts. Other non-disposable stuff is a little bit easier to deal with. Here is a list of what I’m talking about and what to do with each:

  • Tires

    • Talk to your local mechanic, they may take them
    • Talk to your municipality or county, they may have an annual or semi-annual clean up day where you can take them
    • Paint them and use them for flower planters
  • Large Batteries ~ like car batteries

    • Talk to your local mechanic they may be able to trade them in
      • Also, we suggest every time you get a new car battery to trade in the old one
  • Appliances containing Freon

    • So basically refrigerators and freezers. These need to be drained of their Freon by a certified professional, tagged with a sticker stating they have been drained, and then you can give us a call to arrange some sort of disposal
      • Check with local appliance stores and mechanic shops, they may be able to drain it for you
    • You could also get the Freon drained and scrap it yourself at your local scrap yard
    • Best Buy may also take these appliances (see above for link)
  • Hazardous Material ~ The main hazardous materials we deal with are wet oil, wet paint, and asbestos.

    • Wet Oil – dry it up with oil dry or kitty litter and then we can take it. It must be completely soaked up!
    • Wet Paint – the best way to get rid of wet paint is to make it dry paint. Take the lids off the cans for a few days and let them dry out. They must be rock solid. To speed up the process add some oil dry, kitty litter, or saw dust to soak some of it up. Once its dry we can take it.
    • Asbestos – Do Not Throw This Out With Your Normal Trash…Ever. If you have some sort of asbestos to dispose of please give us a call. We have a very specific and regulated process we need to follow in order to dispose of asbestos material.
  • Clean Fill Material (Rock, Block, Brick, Dirt)

    • This material isn’t non-disposable, however it is a restricted material. Some facilities will not accept clean fill materials as MSW waste due to the nature of the facility. It’s also extremely hard on our packer trucks (rear & side load trucks that do the weekly pick-ups) and heavier than what we generally account for at a stop.
    • As mentioned above, these materials are disposable, but they are restricted. If you have these materials they must go in a roll-off container and be disposed of as Construction Debris.
      • They cannot be disposed of with weekly residential/commercial pick-up in rearload dumpsters and carts. 
    • Alternatively, these materials can generally be repurposed as clean fill as they’re non-hazardous. 
  • Radioactive Material

    • If you have radioactive material you need to go get help because that sounds dangerous. I’m also joking because we don’t handle radioactive stuff and neither should you. Even though some trash seems radioactive just going off the way it looks and smells… I’m not really sure if radioactive stuff is smelly but for this post we’re going to assume it is.

Those are the big “no-nos” when it comes to waste disposal. Please beware that if we find electronics, tires, appliances containing Freon, large batteries, or hazardous material in your trash we will not take it. If it is in a roll-off container and it is found when we dump the container at the landfill they WILL make us reload your unwelcome junk and take it back to where it came from. Yes, we will drop it back off at your house which comes with a not so fun $175.00 charge for shipping and handling. No, sorry, we don’t offer free shipping.

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