3 Simple Steps to Recycling Old Electronics

These days technology is evolving faster than ever before and newer, improved, and updated electronic devices are being introduced to electronics consumers on a regular basis. While this is all very revolutionary and exciting news to the average consumer, it is also adding on to the ever-growing worldwide problem of electronic waste.

The good news is we can all be a part of the solution to this problem by making the conscientious choice to properly and responsibly recycle our old electronics. Even if you happen to be a newcomer to the concept of recycling your used electronic devices, it is not a difficult thing to do. In fact, if you have ever given away, sold or donated any electronic item in your lifetime, you have already participated in the process. There are more ways than one to “recycle” your old electronics.

Though it may seem so simple and convenient to just “throw out” that old cell phone, or toss that old television set in the nearest dumpster, whenever you choose to do so, you are willingly adding to the rising problem of worldwide e-waste accumulation. Believe it or not, every little bit helps. Though “throwing it away” may seem like the easiest thing to do, recycling your electronics is actually as simple as 1-2-3.

Step 1: Inspect Your Electronic Devices

First of all, you need to inspect your electronics one by one, and evaluate their condition. Determine whether or not it is still in good working condition. If it is need of minor repair, is it worth repairing? If it is still operable, someone else could possibly get some good use out of it. If it is beyond repair or so old and outdated that no one could make any use of it, (i.e. Windows 95 desktop PC, 512 MB hard disk drive, floppy disk drive etc.) it might not be worth the effort of trying to sell or donate to a charity or organization.

Once you have determined the condition of your electronic gadget, you can move on to the next step of either selling/donating it or dropping it off/sending it in to a recycling program.

Step 2: Sell, Donate or Give them away

If your electronic items are still operable and/or fully functional, you might be able to make some extra cash by selling it to someone who can make use of it. There are a few different ways to go about this. You can have a yard/garage sale, you can put ads in your local paper, or you can list your electronics online. Sites like Craigslist and Facebook will allow users to list their items for sale free of charge.

Sites like Amazon, eBay, Gazelle, Glyde and uSell offer trade-in programs for certain electronic items and will pay you with either e-gift cards, a check or PayPal depending on which site you use.

Donating your electronics is a good way to help the environment and help someone in need as well. You can either donate them to a charity, non-profit or a church where they will go to someone in need. You may be eligible for a tax write-off in the process. You can also give your devices away to someone you know. Young kids and older people can usually get some good use out of an older electronic device.

Step 3: Drop them off or Mail them in to the E-cycling Program of Your Choice

On the other hand, if your electronics have reached the end of their lifespan, you have your choice of recycling programs. Retail stores like Best Buy, Staples, and OfficeMax offer e-cycling programs where you can drop off or mail-in your electronics for recycling purposes. Also, you can opt for taking your electronics to a recycling facility that accepts electronic waste.

So, even though tossing your old electronics in the trash is easy, recycling them is almost just as easy and is also a way to put a dent in the world’s growing accumulation of electronic waste.


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