Recycling: End-of-life alternatives

Program Operations

Recycling: End-of-life Alternatives


Recycling is a frequently generalized term. Within the context of assistive technology (AT) reuse organizations, it has one specific meaning. All AT reuse organizations engage in one or more of the following activities.


Device exchange – a means of matching donors and users without intervention by a third party. This often takes the form of searchable databases on the Internet. Reassignment – accepting donated devices and making them available to users in the donated condition Refurbishment – accepting donated devices and repairing them to working order Re-manufacturing – accepting donated items and restoring them to the original manufacturer’s specifications and function Recycling – disposing of unusable devices in a legal and environmentally appropriate manner, usually for breakdown into component parts or materials [1]


Appropriate disposal of devices that have no more useful life can present a challenge to the reuse center, especially if those devices are electronic and/or digital. The components of many electronic devices are potential hazards to the environment is not disposed properly. The center would be wise to enter into a partnership or agreement with a responsible local recycler.


Find a Recycling Program in Your Area


The Telecommunications Industry Association operates a web site that provides information about donation, reuse and electronic waste recycling programs throughout the country. Local or regional services can be located through an interactive map or search at



Additional information about end-of-life recycling services may be found at the following web sites:

Best Buy In-Store and National Recycling Events

Provides information on Best Buy’s In-Store and Recycling Event programs.


Delaware Citizens’ Computer Recycling Pilot Project

This pilot project, conducted jointly with the EPA and state of Delaware, provides information on successful recycling models.

Dell Computer, Inc.

Recycling Efforts: Information on how to recycle and reuse computers through Dell, Inc., and on partnering with Dell to reuse older models.  

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Fact sheet and material on end-of-life recycling. Includes information on the results of the EPA’s Wastewise program.

Hewlett-Packard Planet Partners Program

HP recycling and environmental programs. Includes information on recycling HP and Compaq products.

IBM Computers – Asset Recovery Solutions

Provides information and model data for recycling and reuse of IBM computers among businesses and organizations.

ReThink – Ebay’s E-Waste Project

Launched by E-Bay in collaboration with manufacturers of a variety of personal devices, ReThink aims to reduce or eliminate the amount of electronic waste (e-waste) and abandonment through this program.

Sony Global’s Recycling Initiative

Sony Global has developed recycling and asset recovery procedures for a variety of electronic devices as part of Sony, Inc.’s commitment to environmental responsibility.



[1] National Task Force Study Group on the Classification of Assistive Technology Reuse Activities.



Please note that by selecting an Internet link you will be directed to an external site, and the Pass It on Center does not control the content of the site.



This work is supported under a five-year cooperative agreement # H235V060016 awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and is administered by the Pass It on Center of the Georgia Department of Labor – Tools for Life.  However, the contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy or opinions of the Department of Education, or the Georgia Department of Labor, and you should not assume endorsements of this document by the Federal government or the Georgia Department of Labor.




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Other Information

Title: Recycling: End-of-life alternatives
Module: Program Operations
Audience: Administrator
Sub Title:
Procedure: Where to find information about recycling
Organization Source: PASS IT ON CENTER
Last Reviewed: 02-02-2009 7:43 AM