Video Games

Alternative ways to recycle
Trash Electronic Waste

Consider Donation
If the video game is still usable, please donate. Visit Athens’ Material Reuse page for ideas.

Place in trash if your video game is a CD, DVD, or Blu Ray.

Treat as electronic waste if your video game is a cartridge, as these contain a circuit board.

City Specific Electronic Disposal Options
Please check with your city page (residential or commercial) to confirm if electronic waste (e-waste) disposal options are available, such as home collection, drop-off locations, and/or events. (These options vary per city.)

Household E-Waste Drop-Off
Your city or county may offer E-Waste and Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) drop-off sites and collection events.
– Los Angeles County: S.A.F.E. Collection Centers and events
– Riverside County

– San Bernardino County
– Ventura County 

Disposal Options For Businesses
E-waste cannot be placed in your containers. Schedule a Special Waste Collection by emailing [email protected] or calling Athens’ Customer Service Department at 888-336-6100. Fees may apply.

Some e-waste drop-off centers may allow drop off by small business generators (check links above).


Do Not Place in Garbage

Video games can leach harmful metals into the environment if not properly disposed of as e-waste.

Game Consoles Are Also E-Waste

Game consoles are e-waste. Though made of similar materials as video games, game consoles have different disposal options. Find out what to do with game consoles.

Alternative Ways to Recycle


Best Buy Game Trade-In

Trade in unwanted video games in exchange for a Best Buy gift card. Look up your game’s trade-in value here.

Nintendo Product Recycling

Nintendo offers a free take-back program for their hardware, software, accessories and chargers. They also accept video game consoles from customers who have purchased a Nintendo console. Find out more.

Electronics Recovery and Recycling Program

California passed the Electronics Recycling Act of 2003 to regulate how electronics are handled at the end of their life. Find out which organizations will take back unwanted or damaged electronics.

Ways to Reduce

Take Proper Care of Games

Handle games carefully and store them where they will stay clean and dry, away from dust, lint and moisture. Avoid touching the game connectors directly with your fingers and always check the edge connector for debris before inserting into a game system.

Not Working? Try Cleaning It

If your console is having a hard time reading your game, try cleaning both of them. Follow Nintendo’s instructions for cleaning game discs or instructions for cleaning a console. Using old school cartridges? Here’s how to safely clean those.

Buy Used Games

Instead of buying a new game, consider opting for a used game in good condition. When properly stored and well cared for, games can last for decades.

Download Games

Download games directly onto your gaming console from the console’s online store (such as the Nintendo online store, PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, etc.). For PCs, download games from online shops such as Steam or Epic Games.

Ways to Reuse

Sell Old Games

Consider selling unwanted video games at used game stores such as GameStop or online on sites such as eBay or OfferUp.

Donate Unwanted Games

Consider donating unwanted video games to places such as family shelters, children’s hospitals, schools or thrift shops. 

Did You Know?

The History of the Game Cartridge

Video game engineer Jerry Lawson and others achieved various technical breakthroughs to invent the game cartridge that launched a billion-dollar business and transformed the future of video games. Read more about the invention of the cartridge from Fast Company or the story behind inventor Jerry Lawson from Wired.