Consumer electronics have different “life spans” – for example, a smartphone is 18 months, while a television is 10-plus years.
If your tech product is still in good condition, you should consider reselling or donating it to your local school, retirement home and/or community center. You might be surprised how valuable your “old” device is to someone else.
Another option is recycling (“eCycling”). GreenerGadgets.org has a ZIP code search tool to help you find a recycling location near you. This list below only includes industry programs, which use strict standards, and third-party certified recyclers, so rest assured that your device will be safely recycled. And remember: Before you drop off your old TV, computer or other device, please call ahead to confirm they’ll accept your donation.
Here’s a list of several eCycling programs:
• Panasonic offers a plan for recycling of Toughbook mobile computers that have reached the end of their life cycle. The process works the same for all customers and is free of charge.
• Digital Links has distributed more than 50,000 reused computers to the developing world and provided access to technology for more than 125,000 individuals.
• Close the Gap makes reused and refurbished computers available to underprivileged individuals in Africa and other developing countries.
• Staples offers cash for printer cartridges and in partnership with HP provides free electronics recycling for all brands of office electronics (excludes TVs) at Staples stores across the U.S.
• Recyclebank offers a points system for recycling, which you can then use for discounts and merchandise. The site boasts more than 2 million users.
• NextWorth offers great values for your used devices through both online and in-store programs.
• e-Cycle purchases mobile phones and tablets for reuse and recycling. They provide free data deletion and shipping.
• Hewlett-Packard, in partnership with Staples, provides free electronics recycling for all brands of office electronics (excludes TVs) at Staples stores across the U.S. HP also offers customers a choice of cash, donation to charity, or HP gift card for most computer equipment. Visit the website to get a quote.
• Gazelle.com has paid out $25 million for consumer electronics.
• Amazon.com offers gift cards through its electronics trade-in program.
• Best Buy’s cash mail-in or in store trade-in program.