How to Recycle Gadgets and Electronics

How to Recycle Gadgets and Electronics

With new phones, tablets and laptops debuting every month, rapid advancements in technology can quickly turn a beloved tech device into an outdated waste of space.  Bu although throwing them away is a convenient option, the impact of the billions of pounds this e-waste could have on the environment are frightening. So whether your computer has stopped to functioning or you’ve simply decided to upgrade, here’s a look at top options for how to recycle your electronics.

Greener Gadgets  – Presented by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Greener Gadgets site is designed to help you easily find areas where you can recycle your old electronics simply by entering your zip code. Greener Gadgets is part of the organization’s “eCycling” effort to facilitate the recycling of one billion pounds of electronics every year. In the first two years of service, the number of eCycling centers has grown by more than 50%, and the number of pounds collected has nearly doubled.

The Greener Gadgets site also offers lots of information on ways to cut down your consumption and educate yourself about using less power and resources. In addition to tips for “Living Green” and “Buying Green,” the site features a handy calculator that helps you figure out how much your electronics usage costs, encouraging you to cut back on your consumption.  You can quickly tabulate your monthly and yearly power costs for dozens of different devices.

uSelluSell offers a chance for consumers to make a few dollars as they put their still-functioning devices directly into the hands of buyers who are experts at refurbishing and reselling electronics. The site lets you list your cell phones, digital cameras, MP3 players, tablets, game consoles and eReaders up for auction, and once a buyer is secured, you receive free mailing materials and shipping to send it along.

Goodwill – In partnership with Dell, Goodwill accepts most forms of electronics at their collection sites, regardless of brand or condition.  Simply make sure you find a nearby location that accepts them, and drop your item off and receive a tax-deductible donation receipt. 

Manufacturer Sites – AT&T and Verizon offer customers the chance to bring in any cell phones or other accessories to their store for recycling, with the Verizon program dedicated to providing refurbished phones to victims of domestic violence.  LG’s Ecomobilize site allows you to find easy ways to either drop off or mail in your device, including the ability to request mailing info simply by texting a message to LG.

Retail Sites –Best Buy allows consumers to bring in up to two items a day per household into any of their US stores for recycling.  Office Depot sells small, medium and large boxes for $5 – $15 in which you can place however many electronics you can fit and bring it back to the store for recycling.  Staples offers in-store collection bins for small items, and will accept larger items such as monitors, printers and copiers, with a limit of six items per day.

Additional Electronics Recycling Resources

Earth 911 – Helps you find recycling centers for many types of goods, including electronics.

Call2Recycle – Offers a map of locations to recycle old cell phones and rechargeable batteries

eRecycle.org – A site set up specifically for California residents to find information and locations for electronics recycling