E-Readers Illegal in Garbage & Drains E-Waste E-readers are also considered Household Hazardous Waste. If your e-reader is in good condition, consider donating it. Never Throw in the Trash Most e-readers contain hazardous chemicals that can leach into the environment, so don’t throw them in the trash. Remove Personal Info Before donating or recycling an e-reader, remove all sensitive and personal information from the device. Barnes & Noble has instructions on how to clear your Nook of personal data.