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Everything You Need To Know About How & Where To Recycle Used Electronics

So you’ve decided to upgrade to a new iPhone 13 Pro. You left that old iPhone 12 in favor of the iPhone 13 that have better battery life, faster A15 Bionic processors, smaller display notches and upgraded cameras. And we’re happy for you. But now you’re left with an obsolete hunk of metal and glass that very well might remain untouched in a shoebox underneath your bed for five years. Please we beg you, don’t do it. You can (and should!) recycle your electronics.

In most cases, e-waste can even be hazardous if not properly recycled, so it’s important to rid your home of your electronic devices at the end of their life cycles and not by just throwing them away. 

 So before you dump your old iPhone, iPad or Macs in the garbage , check out one of these recycling and donation programs. 

1. Take It to a Recycler

Plenty of nonprofit organizations and local communities offer options to help you recycle old electronics. One group, Call2Recycle, offers drop-off locations for rechargeable batteries and cell phones all over the U.S. To find a location, just enter your ZIP code at Call2Recycle.org.

Access may be limited due to concerns about COVID-19, so before leaving home, be sure to contact the drop-off location to confirm it’s open and accepting recyclables.

You can also look for local options by entering your ZIP code and the product you want to recycle at the Computer Technology Association’s Recycle Locator or Earth911’s extensive recycling database. Earth911 offers assistance by phone at 800-CLEANUP, too.

For more options, or to learn how e-waste gets recycled, consult Sustainable Electronics Recycling International, which lists facilities certified for electronic recycling.

2. Donate It

If your used gadget still works—or, in many cases, even if it doesn’t—there’s probably a charity or nonprofit out there that would be happy to take it off your hands. You can start by checking local organizations for older people and recreation centers. Make sure to get a receipt so that you can deduct your donation on next year’s tax return. Here are a few other programs that can help you get your old devices to people who need them.

  • Dell Reconnect is a partnership with Goodwill that accepts any brand of computer as well as “just about anything that can be connected to a computer,” according to the website. You can drop off used devices at participating Goodwill locations around the country.
  • The World Computer Exchange is on a mission to diminish the digital divide in developing countries and to promote the reuse of and proper recycling of electronics. It provides used computers, peripherals, and many other types of gadgets to communities around the world.
  • eBay for Charity lets you sell your used devices (or anything else, actually) and donate part or all of the proceeds to a charity of your choosing.

3. Take It to a Tech Firm

Many electronics manufacturers and retailers offer robust recycling programs. A chart at the Environmental Protection Agency’s website lets you search programs by product or company. The following are just a few of the many programs that allow consumers to recycle old electronics. Check your brand’s or retailer’s company website for details on its program.

  • Amazon offers gift cards for just about any kind of electronics device, as well as music CDs and video games. Some items may be eligible for limited time, promotional credit toward a new qualifying Amazon device.
  • Apple’s GiveBack program offers up to $1,530 in gift cards or in-store credit for qualifying products. The company will also accept and recycle any product that doesn’t qualify.
  • Best Buy offers recycling options for a wide range of electronics, no matter where you bought them.
  • Office Depot and Staples offer rewards program members store credit of $2 per printer cartridge (with some restrictions) for up to 10 or 20 cartridges per month, respectively. Most printer manufacturers, including HPEpson, and Canon, also have their own recycling programs.
  • Sprint’s Buyback program offers account credits for mobile phones from any carrier. For specific details on other phone programs, check the manufacturer’s website.

Remember We must love our planet and stop trashing it.

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