How to dispose of AC adapters

ac/dc image by Maxim Kulemza from

An AC adaptor is a large power cord that plugs into a wall outlet. It is typically included with electronic devices---like laptops, CD players, and game systems---that do not have their own power supply. While an adaptor may last for years, it may end up damaged or non-functional for a number of reasons, such as water damage or power surges. When an AC adaptor loses its functionality, your first instinct may be to simply throw it in the trash. However, some states have laws against the improper disposal of electronic equipment. While you could research your state's regulations, it will be easier and more rewarding to properly dispose of your AC adaptor by recycling it.

Locate a place that recycles AC adaptors. There are several websites you can visit to find this information. Some examples are iGO, ERS, or Electronic Recycling Services. By visiting one of these websites, you can enter your zip code and you will be given a list of places that recycle electronic equipment. A search of this writer's zip code provided four locations within a 10-mile radius. Select the closest or most convenient centre. In addition, the site also provides links for sites that offer similar services.

Package the AC adaptor as well as possible. The original packaging is ideal, but since that is often been long disposed of, a good bag or small box will suffice.

Submit your AC adaptor to a representative at the recycling centre. Be sure to clearly explain that the adaptor requires disposal and you are choosing to recycle it with that facility as opposed to simply throwing it in the trash. Some places may offer small compensation for recycling your adaptor, but that depends on the location.

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