• Electronic equipment and appliances with printed circuit boards may contain lead from solder, mercury in switches, lithium batteries, and heavy metals.
  • Cathode ray tubes (CRTs), including televisions and computer monitors, contain from two to five pounds of lead per unit.
  • Do not attempt to dismantle CRTs without proper training; dangerous levels of high voltage are stored in CRTs for varying periods of time.
  • Implosion may result from impact or improper disassembly procedure. An explosion follows the implosion.


  • Store and handle in a manner that minimizes breakage, especially of CRTs.
  • Do not attempt to dismantle CRTs without proper training; high voltage in the capacitor can discharge a lethal charge.

Management Options

  • CRTs only were banned from Massachusetts disposal facilities effective April 1, 2000. For additional information, see the MassDEP Electronics Recycling page.
  • Check your local Department of Public Works for instructions on municipal recycling collection programs. A state contract for electronics collection is available for municipalities and public sector agencies. For a copy of the award notice, visit the COMMBUYS Electronic Procurement System and search for contract number FAC26.
  • If an item is still functioning and usable, try to donate to a charity or non-profit group who may be able to use it.
  • All other electronic devices, including computer processing units (CPUs), keyboards, small home appliances, stereos, VCRs and telephones may be accepted in scrap metal program or thrown in the trash if no electronics collection program is in place.

If you have additional questions, contact James Paterson: 617-556-1096 or james.paterson@state.ma.us