VCRs Illegal in Garbage & Drains E-Waste If your VCR is in good condition, consider donating it. Never Throw in the Trash Many older VCRs contain hazard materials, such as halogenated flame retardants, that could leach into the environment. These chemicals are particularly toxic to expectant mothers and their fetuses, so don’t throw VCRs into the trash. Electronics Recovery and Recycling Program California established 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.