5 Easy Places to Recycle Your Old Gadgets and Computers

Maybe you got next-generation gear over the holidays, or maybe it's time to clean out your unused gadgets for the new year. Whatever the reason, if you've got old gizmos that need to go, Kevin Purdy of Lifehacker.com tells you where to recycle them.

Did you know that many towns, cities, counties, and states have their own e-cycling programs that offer convenient drop-off locations for dead computers, dead cell phones, big monitors, and other electronics? The Environmental Protection Agency suggests a few sites to help you find a local solution, including EcoSquid and Digital Tips. However, almost everybody has a Best Buy, Goodwill, or Staples somewhere near them and they may even pay you back in green for helping keep the planet green.

Best Buy Recycling has one of the most convenient and customer-friendly electronics recycling programs. Each household can bring in up to three items per day including older-style CRT TVs, any flat-panel TVs, monitors, cell phones, GPS units, DVD players, basically anything that you can carry that has a plug and a display, Best Buy will take it. (There's a $10 charge for TVs and monitors, but you get that back in a $10 gift card.)

New cell phones often come with a plastic pouch in which to mail back an older cell phone for recycling, or for re-purposing as an emergency 911 phone for community services. Each cellular phone provider, including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon offers phone recycling services and they are generally free through both in-store drop-offs and postage-paid mail-ins.

Both Office Depot and Staples are fairly convenient for recycling smaller gadgets in different ways. Office Depot sells boxes (small, medium, and large for $5, $10, and $15, respectively) that you can fill with pretty much any gadget that fits, then drop it off for recycling. Staples does the smaller stuff for free, like phones, PDAs, and calculators, and if you drop off TVs or monitors or other notably big gear, it's a $10 charge.

But one of the first stops to make is good old Craigs List. As one user notes, turning in a working laptop for recycling so that it can be destroyed is NOT recycling. If you really care about recycling then selling it for a small price to someone who will use it for a few more years is the best recycling you can do.
Until next post, see you online,