E-waste is electronic products that have come to the end of their useful life: computers, televisions, copiers, etc. There is some variation on what e-waste collectors will take, so peruse their websites carefully to see if your hairdryer/AAA batteries/robot dog is welcome before you go. (P.S. Your robot dog is welcome at my place any time.)
Staples takes computer equipment and peripherals, digital projectors, phones, cameras, and rechargeable batteries, but not non-rechargeable batteries.
Best Buy has an admirably thorough list of what’s accepted and not, so don’t bother hauling in your exercise bike, 8-track tapes, or propane grills, because, hey, they’ve warned you. They will take CDs, but apparently limit them to three a visit, so good luck unloading your collection at that pace.
I’m assuming this list of acceptable e-waste at Goodwill in Orange County applies nationwide, and it includes televisions (which Staples won’t take) and microwave ovens (which neither Staples or Best Buy accept). Based on my experience dropping stuff off there at my Santa Monica, California, location, they’re pretty free and easy about their standards. I dropped off an old toaster and a sink fixture, which was effectively scrap metal, and nobody cared, muttering something about how they send everything to corporate.
If you have electronics as well as household batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, paint thinner and other nasty chemicals, you can wait and drop everything off at a hazardous material collection event in your area, which probably accept a similar list of things as the ones we have here in L.A.