12 Electronic Gadgets You Should Recycle (and How to Do It)

Jeanne Sager

computer recyclingEverywhere you turn these days, someone's touting the greener way to do things, so why are we still throwing away electronics at an alarming rate? A new study estimates e-waste will be able to circle the globe twice in 10 years.

Only 39 percent of American gadgets are being recycled, according to Retrovo. Some people we'll never change -- 7 percent of gadgets are thrown in the trash by people who say they simply don't care.

So what about the rest of us? Here's what you should be recycling and -- more importantly -- how to do it.

Home-Use Batteries (including rechargeable, cell phone batteries, etc.): Contact Battery Recycling for an iRecycle Kit.

Lead-Acid Batteries: Most states require stores that sell these to take them back for recycling, most for free or a very low cost.

Computers: Contact the manufacturer and find out if they have a recycling program -- many do. No luck? Oregon non-profit FreeGeek charges a small fee, but they take old computers to make new ones.

Cell Phones: They don't need to be hooked up to a service to dial 911. Contact the Cell Phone Bank to donate yours to a victims services organization.

Apple Products: Contact the company for free recycling of old products (and sometimes you'll get a discount toward a new purchase).

Game Console: Sell them to a local video game store or try an online site like buymytronics.

Printer Cartridges: Return them to Staples or check your local civic organizations. Many collect the cartridges and return them for you, taking the fee for the organization.

MP3 Players, EReaders, Flat Screen Monitors, Digital and VideoCameras: Recycle It America will take these off your hands -- and give you money back if there's any value.

Other options:

  • Office Depot has boxes that can be filled up with all sorts of gadgets and returned for $15.
  • Radio Shack's trade-in program lets you print out a shipping label and mail in gadgets on their dime to be recycled. If they're eligible for the program, you get a gift card in exchange.
  • Find an ecoATM which will take gadgets, value them and give you money if they have any value ... then recycle the waste.
  • Find an e-steward recycler in your area, someone who has met the regulations of the the Basel Action Network (BAN) a non-profit named after the Basel Convention, the United Nations treaty that restricts trade in hazardous wastes and was intended to stop the dumping of toxic waste on developing nations.


Image via youngthousands/Flickr

Read More