Every time I buy a new gadget it’s like welcoming a new pet into the family. You go to the store, select the perfect little tyke, and rush home to introduce it to your existing collection. The best part? No jealousy among your older electronics: they’re made to play together.
But electronics rarely last as long as a real pet. As faithfully as it might serve you, within a few years it’s time to put that gadget out to pasture. This is your guide to the greenest pastures around.
They will give you cash for your gadgets. You can also try your luck Ebay’s Rethink Initiative. Not interested in the money? You can still donate or Freecycle your e-stuff. Also try TechSoup.org. Their site was undergoing maintenance when I wrote this article, but it comes highly recommended.
Any BestBuy will take your old cellphones, rechargeable batteries and ink cartridges for free. If you buy a new TV from them and have it delivered, they’ll recycle your old TV for free.
Individual companies like Samsung, Nokia and Sony offer free recycling programs for their products internationally. These companies have even earned kudos for their efforts from environmental groups. The U.S. EPA has a complete list of corporate efforts for electronic recycling, and resources to find a local program.
For a quick search in your local area, try:
The European Union has the WEEE Directive to encourage proper e-waste disposal, but it’s implemented differently in every country. A quick Google search for your local area should get you started.
In Australia, try Recycling Near You.
In China, take-back programs started to be implemented in 2007.
It’s important that you sell or recycle your electronics instead of throwing them away. Almost all electronics contain poisonous and valuable heavy metals and chemicals. Since most items can be sold for reuse or recycled for free, it’s easy to go green and recycle your gadgets.
Check out these videos on YouTube
I'm an environmentalist who loves to write. I grew up across the southeastern U.S.A. and especially love the Appalachian mountains. I went to school in the north east U.S.A. in part to witness different mindsets and lifestyles than those of my southern stomping grounds. I majored in English Lit. and Anthropology. I've worked as a whitewater rafting guide, which introduced me to a wilderness and the complex issues at play in the places where relatively few people go. I also taught English language in South Korea for a year, which taught me to take nothing for granted. Currently I'm applying for grad school to study international environmental policy.