Electronic waste and cathode ray tubes

Businesses can avoid some Dangerous Waste Regulations requirements by recycling common electronic waste, such as:

  • Televisions (including those with cathode ray tubes)
  • Computers and monitors
  • Portable, laptop computers, tablets, etc.

Learn what policies to follow and how to recycle your e-waste properly.

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Not a business?

If you are a household or individual looking to recycle your electronics, go to E-Cycle Washington for more information. For other household items, go to 1-800-RECYCLE.

Why recycle?

Recycling e-waste reduces dangerous chemicals in landfills and our environment. When businesses recycle their e-waste, then it:

  • Does not count as a dangerous waste.
  • Does not affect your generator category.
  • Does not require a manifest when transported off-site (although Department of Transportation requirements for transporting hazardous materials may still apply).

How do businesses recycle e-waste properly?

This will depend on a business’s generator category:

  • Small quantity generators (SQGs), or businesses with fewer than 50 employees, can use E-Cycle Washington to recycle e-waste for free.
  • Medium or large quantity generators (MQGs, LQGs) need to follow the Interim Enforcement Policy to recycle e-waste (except cathode ray tubes, which are conditionally excluded).

Note: SQGs are unlikely to benefit from the interim policy but may choose to follow it.

Cathode ray tube TV with old glass screen
How to recycle cathode ray tubes (CRTs)

Cathode ray tubes (CRTs) are found in older televisions and computer monitors. They contain large amounts of lead and other heavy metals. To encourage recycling, CRTs are conditionally excluded from the Dangerous Waste Regulations (WAC 173-303-071(3)(oo)), provided they are managed appropriately on-site and legitimately recycled.

Old desktop computer with glass screen
Before recycling, be sure to:

  • Store CRTs safely indoors in a building with a roof, floor, and walls, or place them in a closed container to minimize releases to the environment of CRT glass.
  • Label CRTs or their container(s) with:
    • "Used cathode ray tubes - contains leaded glass" 
      “Leaded glass from televisions or computers"
    • "Do not mix with other glass materials."

If you don’t recycle your CRTs, you must manage them as dangerous waste.