How does this program work?
PRDS established the Personal Electronics Program for the NIH community in 2015.  This is a free service where all NIH employees and contractors may drop-off electronic items for recycling, versus disposing of electronic waste through trash collection or other methods of disposal.  Common items include aged televisions, computers, small household appliances, and out of date cell phones.  Once an employee has collected items from their home, they may bring it to the NIH Supply Center. The NIH Supply Center Property Warehouse is open from 7:30 am till 4:00 pm Monday thru Friday (closed on Federal holidays). Starting on July 1, 2019 and ending on October 21, 2019, the NIH Supply Center is opened from 6:30 am to 3:00 pm Monday to Friday.



Frequently Asked Questions – Free Recycling of Employee’s Personal Electronic Equipment

Question: Is this recycling program for personal or government issued equipment?

Answer: This program is only for NON-GOVERNMENT PROPERTY. This program is only for items that the employee personally owns and paid for. Do NOT bring government issued equipment to this recycling option.


Question: Who is eligible to participate in this program?

Answer: This Program is open to anyone at NIH who has an NIH Badge.  You have to “work” at NIH in some aspect.  This is NOT open to FedEx, UPS, etc. delivery personnel.  It is open to Contractors, Fellows, Researchers, Full Time Employee’s, Volunteers (if they have a NIH Badge).  You MUST have some type of NIH Badge to participate in this program.


Question: What types of personal electronic equipment is eligible in this program?

Answer: Almost anything that has an electrical plug on it.  For example, a coffee maker. The coffee maker is acceptable, but not the carafe (or the coffee!).  Other acceptable items include:

  • Laptops and notebooks
  • PCs, Servers, Storage Devices
    • Monitors
    • PC Towers
    • Hard Disk Drives
    • Portable Disk Drives
  • Inkjet and Toner Cartridges
  • Cell Phones and Smartphones
  • Printers
  • Keyboard
  • Keyboard Mouse
  • Tablets/Readers
  • MP3 Players
  • VHS Players
  • GPS Devices
  • DVD and Blue-Ray Players
  • Digital Cameras
  • TV—flat screen—no size limit
  • Microwaves
  • Power supplies
  • Coffee makers (No glass)
  • Radios
  • Paper shredders
  • Vacuum Cleaners
  • VHS Tapes, CD’s, Cassettes, 8-track tapes


Question: What items are NOT acceptable in this program?

Answer: Non acceptable items include:

  • Dirty or Unclean Items
  • Items with Mold
  • Items with any kind of liquid Substance in it or on it
  • Any kind of glass in or on an item
  • Any kind of Hazmat items
  • Any item with or that did contain any kind of petroleum products (gas, diesel, oil, jet fuel, lighter fluid, etc.)


If you are ever unsure about whether an item is acceptable or not to the personal recycling program, please contact us at 301-496-4247.


Question: Do I need to remove or erase my computer hard drive before I turn it in to PRDS for recycling?

Answer: No. Hard drives will be removed and degaussed (magnetically erased). If the unit has an SSD, it will have holes punctured into it, in order to insure that no information can be extracted from the hard drive.  Once the item is handed over to a GSA approved R2 recycler, that company will shred the hard drive to a size usually smaller than a dime.



Question: Is there a limit to the number of items or boxes of items that I can turn in?

Answer: There is no limit.


Question: Where do I turn in equipment for recycling?

Answer: You can drop off your equipment at the following two locations:

  1. The NIH Supply Center which is located at 16050 Industrial Drive, Suite 300, Dock 12, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.


  1. At the Surplus Yard on NIH main campus. The Surplus Yard is located in the rear of Bldg. 25, and inside the gated area in the small parking lot where Bldg. 14G is located. See attached map for further detail. Link to Map


Please note that PRDS is currently evaluating other locations for drop off. We will update you as locations are added.


Question:  Can items from the personal recycling program be donated?

Answer: Items that are turned in for recycling through the personal recycling program CANNOT be donated. 


Question: Can batteries be turned in for recycling or disposal?

Answer: This specific program does not include batteries. However, NIH does have a battery recycler and disposal program – please contact 301-496-4710 for more questions or information on that program.