TYLER (KYTX) - It pays to recycle your e-waste from an identity protection standpoint too.
Because just throwing it away could put sensitive information in danger.
Before you throw out a printer or laptop, do you think about the environmental affect, or the fact the stored information could risk your identity being stolen?
It's something East Texans are taking note of and dropping off e-waste here with STS Recycling.
Karen Harris is dropping off old electronics from her house.
"Four computers, four monitors, answering machines and a few other things and may have to come back," says Harris.
She wanted to be sure STS would clear the memory and protect her identity.
"Already had my identity stolen from my mail out of my mailbox," says Harris.
"In America, about 20% of electronics are recycled," says Steven Norton.
Norton is the President of STS Electronic Recycling, he says about 80% of people don't.
His company recycles, tears down and scraps electronics.
Some can be reused in toys or re bar.
The motherboards, wires, even the printers are reusable in some way.
"A lot of it goes back into more electronics, come go back to radios and docks," says Norton.
Then there are parts that are resold online, or in the Habitat for Humanity Restore.
But before you even get the computers to this point, the hard drives are wiped clean of any information in a secure room.
Because keeping your personal information is most important.
"We know where every piece of material that comes in our building goes when it leaves here, the downstream," says Norton.
And that down stream affect plays into the environment.
"There's minute amounts of different types of metals, gold, silver and copper, platinum, lead," says Norton.
"Safety for the ecology sake and for our safety, for identity sake," says Harris.
They do have drop off locations here in Tyler at the Habitat Restore, and if you have a business, or work for a school, you can call them and have those materials picked up.