From the University of Illinois News Bureau:

What’s in your closets, basement, garage or attic?

If you’re like many Americans, chances are you have at least one piece of electronic waste – an obsolete or non-functioning computer, printer, television, DVD player, cell phone or other electronic device – stashed somewhere.

“Each person stores their computers for an extra two years before they give or throw (them) away,” estimates Willie Cade, the chief executive officer of PC Rebuilders & Recyclers, based in Chicago. Cade’s comments appear in a draft report compiled by University of Illinois industrial design students who studied electronic waste, often referred to as e-waste.

The reason for keeping e-waste around is simple: People don’t know what else to do with old electronic equipment. Although some communities have recycling sites, in many cases, e-waste gets carted off to the local dump or landfill. And even if it is “recycled,” the end result may not be nearly as environmentally sound as one might expect. Read more.

IISG’s website is rich with information on how to buy, manage, and get rid of computers and other electronics.