Many of us have old cell phones, calculators, DVD players, or other small electronics that we are no longer using. In general, electronics should not be put in your curbside trash bins, or in the local landfills due to the fact that many of the components are not biodegradable. However, there are several ways you can recycle old electronics, possibly allowing others to find a good use for them, and saving our landfills at the same time.First, gather your old electronics together, in order to assess what types you own, as well as working condition. You may want to make a list of items if you have several, and decide whether or not you want to use multiple ways to get rid of them.
If you’d like to try and sell your old electronics, you could list them on a number of websites including Craigslist.org, or eBay. There are also several online websites that pay you to recycle. Check out YouRenew.com. This is a site that pays you for recycling gaming devices, digital cameras, cell phones, MP3 players, calculators, laptops and external drives. Simply input your device in their search bar and select it from the results. Answer a few questions regarding working/non-working status, manuals, and cords that you may have to include when shipping. YouRenew will buy your device or, if it has no value, will recycle it for you free (including shipping). YouRenew.com is a green certified site. FlipSwap.com and TechForward.com are two more sites that may buy your unwanted or old electronic items.
If you prefer to just drop off your old electronics but aren’t sure where to take them in your area, try searching at MyGreenElectronics.org. Here you can search for local e-waste recycling centers by zip code or type of electronics categories. There’s even a cool little energy calculator that calculates how much energy your home electronics are using. If you know of an e-waste recycler in your area, check to see if they are listed on the website. If not, ask them to sign up to be included in the site directory, so others in your community can find them.
If your electronics are in good working order, or have only cosmetic damage, consider donating them to charity organizations such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, Cell Phones for Soldiers, or any of the many others. Some of these charities have volunteers that are willing to do minor repairs to make a product usable again. If you do drop off your old electronics to one of these charities, take a moment to include a note and let them know (to the best of your knowledge) the current working/non-working condition of any item you donate. This step will save valuable time for workers, who would otherwise have to test or diagnose an item’s condition.
Choosing to recycle your old electronics is good for your family, your community and the planet.
Cell Phones for Soldiers