Electrical Cords and Cables

Illegal in Garbage & Drains
Hazardous Waste Drop-Off E-Waste Drop-Off
Striped Copper Wire

Bare Electrical Wiring Is Recycled as Scrap Metal

If you have bare electrical wiring, you can recycle it as scrap metal. Find out how to recycle scrap metal.

Trash Bin

Don’t Throw Cables in the Trash

Whatever you do, cables should never go in the garbage. They contain metals like copper that make them hazardous waste if they’re put in the trash.

Tangled Cables

Dangerous to Put in the Recycling

It is extremely important that you never recycle cables with other household recyclables. Long, stringy items, like holiday lights, old wires, and coat hangers, not only wreak havoc on equipment, but they’re also a safety hazard to employees.

Ways to Reuse

Use Cables for More Than One Device

Sometimes, phone and computer chargers can be reused for a different device than the one they came with. So before buying a new charger, see if you have any old ones that will fit.

Did You Know?

Eco-Friendly Cables

There are actually “green” cables. In 2012, Apple and Volex, its power and USB cable supplier, announced that they would be making halogen-free power cables that are less toxic for the environment when they’re disposed of.

The Problem of E-Waste

E-waste is a dangerous business in India and China, where e-waste recycling plants release toxic chemicals into the air and cause health problems for recycling workers. To learn more about e-waste, check out The Story of Stuff Project.