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Recycle your old electronics

We really aren’t big into gadgets and the latest new technology, but even we have some retired electronics around the house that need to be recycled. Golden rule: never throw your electronics in the trash or your home recycling bin! So how do you recycle them and where can you take them?

When we recently purchased a new cell phone, it was easy to recycle the old one. We just traded in our old phone and got a credit toward a new one. We wish it were that easy for all electronics.

The United Nations reported “that 44.7 million tons of e-waste was discarded in 2016, and only 20 percent of it was disposed of properly.”

Not good! A lot of the e-waste contains harmful and toxic chemical elements such as lead, mercury and cadmium, that we don't want getting into our water supply. But those same electronics also contain quite a few materials that are recyclable and valuable such as plastic, glass and precious metals. For example, Apple recovered 2,204 pounds of gold in 2015 from its recycled electronics, which was worth approximately $40,000,000.

Here are some ideas and recycling options to consider:

  • this organization specializes in recycling rechargeable and single-use batteries along with cell phones. They have their collection bins conveniently located at Home Depot and Lowes or you can go to their website, enter your zipcode, and find other locations to drop off your items.

  • e-Stewards: their goal is to give each of us an answer to the question — what is the right thing to with my old TV, computer, mobile phone, or tablet? Go to their website and enter your zipcode to find places to drop off your electronics. All of the locations that were near our home were at Staples.

  • Dell Reconnect has partnered with Goodwill to recycle electronic items. Go to their website to find the nearest participating Goodwill location to you.

  • Best Buy accepts many electronic devices for recycling. On their website they state, “As the nation’s largest retail recycler of used electronics and appliances, we’re doing our part to responsibly reduce e-waste. We’ll take all kinds of used tech, regardless of where you bought it, how old it is or who made it.”

This is by no means a comprehensive list of where you can recycle your electronics, and we're sure there are many more local options that are specific to your city or neighborhood. These are just a few national programs and a place to start.

It doesn't matter which place you choose to recycle them as long as you get that e-waste recycled and out of landfills! Don't forget, before you turn your old devices in, make sure to reset them to factory settings and erase all your personal information.


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