Purge time? What to do with electronics and more

ipod-iphone-dead-broken-not-workingMost of us have quietly filled a box and a dresser drawer with wires to gadgets we no longer have, but don’t remember if it might still be useful. Our closets and storage corners have old electronics we stopped using long ago, because we don’t know what to do with them.

Is it time to do something about them? If you live in Minneapolis recycling this accumulated junk does not require sending them to landfills.

Free Options

Use links for detailed instructions on locations/hours, how to prepare the materials for dropoff and other “before you visit” guidelines, and more.

  1. Needs fixing? If you have electronics that simply stopped working, but might live again, consider attending one of Hennepin County’s fix-it clinics.
  2. Electronics. If you have TVs, computers and related accessories, audio-video equipment, phones, rechargeable tools/toothbrushes/vacuums, and other portable electronics, these hazardous and problematic items can be dropped off at a county site. Find details here. OR, TechDump is a great service that hosts drop-off events… fixes and sells computers for re-use… and, if certain requirements are met, even picks up electronics, wires, batteries and more. Learn more here.
  3. Household hazardous waste. If you have paints and solvents, pesticides, fluorescent bulbs, aerosols, mercury thermometers and thermostats, these can be brought to the same place.
  4. Batteries. Put clear tape over the terminals, or put in individual plastic bags, and deposit at the same location. Or, use these special battery drop-off locations.
  5. Automotive. Oil and oil-filters, batteries, antifreeze, fuels. Find the special instructions for drop-offs here.
  6. Cords and lights. Electric cords, string/holiday lights. Include in your recycling pick-up! (households only)
  7. Media. Computer disks, DVDs, CDs Blu-ray discs, video cassettes, audio cassettes, game cartridges, Secure Digital (SD) memory cards, flash drives, plastic cases, jewel cases, ink jet and laser toner cartridges, vinyl records. Include in your recycling pick-up! (households only)
  8. Light bulbs. CFLs can be properly disposed of at the county’s drop off facilities in Brooklyn Park and Bloomington.
  9. Medicines. Use this link to find drop boxes.

Drop-off charges

Find details here.

  • Appliances  — $15, no commercial appliances
    • Microwaves
    • Refrigerators, freezers
    • Water heaters
    • Dishwashers
    • Dehumidifiers
    • Washers, dryers
    • Stoves
    • Air conditioners
    • Furnaces
  • Mattresses and box springs — $15, Brooklyn Park facility only
  • Tires — $3 each, less than 4′ diameter


Not accepted

  • Garbage — including carpet and remodeling debris
  • Ammunition
  • Asbestos
  • Business hazardous waste
  • Concrete or asphalt
  • Explosives
  • Empty gas cans
  • Infectious waste (including needles/sharps – see Safe Disposal of Needles and Syringes fact sheet (PDF))
  • Pressurized cylinders and propane tanks, except one-pound non-refillable containers
  • Radioactive waste
  • Treated wood
  • Yard and tree waste

Thanks to Amy M-K for offering these links!


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