How to Recycle Your Electronic Devices

Published On December 5, 2012 | Green Tech

It’s time for a new tablet or camera and you’re excited, but what should you do with your old device? If you’re sure that you’ll never use it again, recycling is the answer. Here are a few ways you can recycle your device.
 
In-Store Recycling-

Find a container in retailers such as Wal-mart, Staples or Best Buy. You can typically find them near the door, and while you won’t see any monetary returns, it might be the best option if your old cell phone no longer works but still has salvageable parts. It’s also one of the easiest recycling methods available. Drop it and forget it. Different stores accept different devices. For example, Best Buy will take your old ink cartridges and cameras, but it’s not necessarily universal.
 
Mail-In Recycling-

A few years ago, stores like Walmart offered prepaid plastic envelopes near the service desk to ship your old phones, cameras and other electronics to recycling centers. These aren’t as common now that recycling boxes have appeared near the doorways, but some stores still use this method.
 
Manufacturer Buyback-

Contact your manufacturer to see if they have a buyback program. For example, Motorola and HTC will buy back your old phone, especially when you’re upgrading to a new one. This can help offset the upgrade costs. Manufacturers might refurbish phones, recycle base materials or reuse parts. Either way, you don’t have to worry about adding to a landfill. Other companies that have similar programs include Samsung, Lexmark, Dell, Sony and Toshiba.
 
Cell Carrier-

If you’ve got an account with Sprint and you’re trading in your old smartphone or tablet, consider the network’s official buyback program. Prices drop pretty drastically as your phone becomes older, and you’ll squeeze every penny out if you keep the packaging, accessories and cords.
 
Third-Party Recycling Programs-

You’ve probably seen the commercials on TV for services like Gazelle or TechForward. They’re just two of the many companies that will buy back your gadgets for cold hard cash. Prices vary depending on age and condition, just like with cell network buyback, so you might want to research a few different companies before you make your final decision. If you’re outside of the U.S., some companies won’t work with you, so location plays into it too. Generally, these services mail you a package or envelope to use when mailing in your device. If you’re worried about it getting lost in the mail, this might not be the best option.
 
Of course, this list isn’t complete. You may find that your local recycling center or computer store offers viable recycling services.

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