What You Need to Know About Pennsylvania’s Covered Device Recycling Act

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania passed a law requiring certain electronics manufacturers to finance a collection and recycling system. That law is called the Covered Device Recycling Act, and it affects all of us.

Today, we’re explaining the most relevant parts of PA’s Covered Device Recycling Act and how it affects you.

You Can No Longer Throw “Covered Electronics” in the Landfill

Prior to the Covered Device Recycling Act, TVs and similar devices could be brought to the landfill. Now, you can’t do that. The law makes it illegal to throw certain “covered electronics” into landfills.

Covered electronics include:

Covered Computer Devices: Desktops, laptops, computer monitors, peripherals, and other items “marketed and intended for use by a consumer”

Covered Television Device: The vast majority of TVs are covered under this law.

Peripheral: Keyboards, printers, and other devices sold exclusively for external use with a computer “that provides input into or output from the computer”

Failure to abide by this law can lead to a fine.

Electronics Recycling Facilities Are Available Across the State

If you can’t throw your covered electronics into landfills, then where can you throw them? Well, since the Covered Device Recycling Act was established, a wide variety of recycling centers have been setup across the state.

Typically, you can find these facilities at a local Best Buy, Staples, or secondhand store (like a Salvation Army). If you live near a Best Buy or other electronics retailer, then that is likely your best option.

Some municipalities even have a home pickup option. You call your local township recycling organization, and they will pick up the unwanted electronics from your home. You can even leave the electronics at your door for easy disposal. Someone will come by to pick it up.

The Government of Pennsylvania maintains a list of electronics drop-off centers across the state. You can view that list here. Overall, there are hundreds of drop-off locations and options across the state.

Alternatively, you can view more information about Best Buy’s electronics recycling program here. Best Buy is the nation’s largest retail recycler of used electronics and appliances. Visit their recycling page to see what types of things you can recycle.


Best Buy also have a trade-in program: you might go to recycle something, only to find it has some trade-in value.

The Pennsylvania Resources Council Hosts “Hard to Recycle Collection Events” Across the State Where You Can Recycle Electronics

If you don’t have an electronics drop-off center near you, then you have another way to safely dispose of your unwanted electronics: the Pennsylvania Resource Council (PRC), a private environmental organization, hosts regular “Hard to Recycle Collection Events” throughout the year.

During these events, the PRC will collect things that are, understandably, “hard to recycle”. You will have to pay a fee of $1 per each pound of material. However, this can be the easiest and safest way to recycle certain items. Popular items at PRC events include:

  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • VHS tapes
  • Floppy disks
  • Cassette tapes
  • Media cases

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