TYLER, TX (KLTV) - They were the original rules of recycling: save your plastic, paper, and glass. But, now, it's not so easy. Increased technology now has a whole new type of waste hitting landfills - stuff far more toxic than plastic. Don't kick your old TV or computer to the curb just yet, aging technology could put some money back in your pocket.
Cell phones are getting smaller and TV's are getting bigger. Constant technology turnover makes the latest toys end up even quicker in the trash.
"That's the thing. It's what do you do with all this old technology; it just builds up clutter in the house," said Noel LaBlanc, Best Buy manager.
Dumping your paper, plastic, and glass is still important, but on Earth Day mother nature asks you to do one better and throw in your big screen or any screen.
"TV's have mercury and all sorts of hazardous waste inside of them," said Tyler Special Project Coordinator, Kristi Boyett.
For example, toxic chemicals, lead, cadmium and arsenic which, if sent to the landfill, could seep into your groundwater.
Goodwill industries focuses on proper disposal...recycling every bit of electronics.
"There's a second life even if it's not refurbished," said Boyett. "They part it out there's plastic, glass, all sorts of other goodies in electronics that can be re-used."
There is plenty left to recycle. Forbes.com reports the U.S. makes more than 2-million tons of electronic waste each year; only 18% of which is recycled, says the EPA.
"We want to be responsible," said LaBlanc. "We don't want it to go to a landfill."
Last year, Best Buys' E-cycling program saved more than 60-million pounds of used consumer electronics and they are not alone.
Office Depot and other stores now offer cash back rebates for recycling old equipment.
Best Buy charges $10 for screened items but gives it back to you in a gift card just in time for Earth Day's 40 birthday.
Different stores are certified to accept different materials for recycling. Click here for more information.