How to Recycle Electronics. Electronics should not be thrown in the trash because they contain harmful chemicals that can seep into the ground, pollute freshwater supplies, and kill plant life. That being said, if you’ve got a bunch of electronics that you don’t use anymore or are broken, you should recycle them. Before you recycle any of your electronics, it’s recommended that you wipe any storage or hard drives so that people can’t access confidential or personal information. Once your electronics are wiped, you can take them to a recycler, donate them, or sell them for a profit.
Taking Electronics to the Recycler
- Find a nonprofit or government-run recycling location online. There are several organizations that specifically handle the recycling of electronics. Visit a nonprofit site like https://www.call2recycle.org/, https://sustainableelectronics.org/, or http://e-stewards.org and enter your address details to find a recycler closest to you. Most municipalities also have recycling centers in designated areas in town that you can find by visiting your local waste removal or recycling website.
- Alternatively, you can type “recycling center” in a search engine to find a location.
- Some nonprofit recycling centers will donate your old equipment to schools and communities that need it.
- Not all recycling centers can recycle electronics
- Bring your electronics directly to a recycling center. If you have a lot of electronics that you need to recycle, it may help to place them in a bin or trash bag so you can move them together. Travel to the recycling location and drop them off for recycling.
- Some locations will have dedicated drop-off bins for recycled electronics while other locations may require you to speak to someone that works there.
- Some recycling centers are privately owned while others are run by the government.
- If you don’t have transportation, consider using a rideshare service, like Uber or Lyft, to get to the recycler.
- Determine your city’s special collection days instead of using a recycler. Many cities will have designated days throughout the year for electronics recycling, sometimes called household hazardous waste collection or recycling days. If your town or city picks up the recycling from your home, check on the municipality’s website or use a search engine to determine if they have an electronics recycling program.
- Some cities may require you to take your electronics to a local community center or designated drop-off point, while others will pick it up from your home.
Selling the Electronics
- Sell your items at a store that has a buy-back program. Many stores like Best Buy, Staples, and Amazon have an electronics recycling or buy-back program that you can use to get store credit. Visit https://www.epa.gov/recycle/electronics-donation-and-recycling to see a list of retailers that have an electronics trade-in or recycling program. Look at the list of approved items and then take the electronics that qualify to the closest location near you.
- Amazon’s trade-in program offers up to $200 in gift card credit for old electronics.
- Apple’s GiveBack program can provide up to $1,000 in store credit for old Apple products.
- Many printer companies have trade-in programs for old printer cartridges and equipment
- Use an online buyback program. Websites like https://www.decluttr.com/, https://www.gazelle.com/, and https://www.trademore.com/ offer cash for old electronics. Visit the sites and enter the details of the item you want to sell. The site will then ask you to submit the condition of the device and will give you a valuation for the item.
- Some buyback programs are limited to certain hardware. Check the sites to see what kind of electronics they buy back.
- Sell the electronics on Craigslist or Ebay. If the electronics that you have are in good working condition, someone else may want to purchase it. Before listing the item, look at its relative value online to get an idea for how much you can sell it for. Then, take photos of the electronics and list the specifications on the online listing. A buyer may see the item and will want to purchase it.
- When selling anything on Craigslist, make sure to meet the buyer in person when making the transaction.
Donating Your Electronics
- Contact nonprofits near you to see if they are in need of electronics. Contact local community, recreation, senior centers, and other nonprofits and charities near you and ask them if they could use an electronics donation. Many of these organizations are looking for computers, laptops, cellphones, and electronic accessories. If you find an organization that could use the donation, arrange a day to drop it off at their facilities.
- Make sure that the electronics you plan on donating are in good working condition.
- Donate your electronics to Goodwill. Goodwill works with the Dell Reconnect program to provide computers and other electronic equipment to in-need individuals and communities. Find a Goodwill location close to you and take your electronics there. Goodwill will then take the computers and use them to help people find employment. This is an easy, tax-deductible way to recycle old electronics.
- Even if the electronics don’t work, Goodwill may be able to use the parts to refurbish another system.
- Give your electronics to an online charity. Organizations like the World Computer Exchange, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Fireside International will take old electronics and distribute them to people around the world that need them. Look online for a charity that you’re passionate about and read their website to find the easiest way to donate the electronics to them. Some organizations will have designated spots where you can drop them off, while others allow people to mail the donations