Spring Decluttering: Recycle Old Electronics

Where to Recycle Old Electronics via mindfulmomma.com

This post is sponsored by EcoATM

Spring is the time of year when I really dive into decluttering the house. Usually it’s the transition from winter to summer clothing that gets me started. I always end up with piles of outgrown clothes to give to a neighbor or bring to the thrift store. After that I usually switch out some of the decor in the house – usually by shopping in the basement. And while I’m down there, it’s a good time to look for things that I just haven’t used for a while – and get rid of them – by donating or recycling of course!

Some items just tend to stay down in the basement because it’s not as clear to me what to do with them. Can you guess the category? Electronics! Most thrift stores don’t take old electronic stuff – it’s just too overwhelming for them to deal with it all. If you drop off electronics where they are not wanted, they will most likely end up in the worst possible place – the landfill. Sadly, electronics are the fastest growing waste segment, because people either don’t know where to bring them or don’t care enough to make the extra effort.

No excuses! There are plenty of places to bring old electronics – either for reuse or recycling. Heck, you may even make money on them!

TVs/DVDs/Game Consoles/Audio Equipment

A great place to find out where to recycle almost anything is Earth911. Just enter your zip code and the type of product you want to recycle, and a list of options will magically appear. Also keep an eye out in your community newsletters for recycling events near you. Options include:

  • County hazardous waste collection sites
  • Private recycling businesses
  • Game stores/Electronics retailers

Recycle phones with EcoATM via mindfulmomma.comMobile Phones/Tablets/MP3 Players

Want to see if you can make a little extra cash from that old cell phone? EcoATM has kiosks conveniently located in shopping malls and select retail stores. They pay cash on the spot for cell phones, tablets and MP3 players. About 75% of the devices collected in Eco ATM kiosks are reused and the remaining 25% are recycled in certified e-waste reclamation facilities. 

I found an EcoATM kiosk at a local mall and gave it a whirl. First the machine asked for my id (a step to deter phone theft), then I looked up my device on the screen. Next I put my device (an old Blackberry) into the inspection station to be examined. In my case, the phone didn’t have any value but I was offered a recycling credit of a couple bucks. But if I had been selling my current phone (a Samsung Galaxy) , I would have received a more substantial payout.

EcoATM via mindfulmomma.com

I appreciate that EcoATM has R2 and ISO 14001 certification to ensure that devices are being recycled responsibly and all toxic materials are being disposed of properly.

Computers/Laptops

If the item still works, try your luck at selling it on Craigslist or eBay. Otherwise, donate or recycle at one of the following:

  • Big Box retailers (some have take-back programs)
  • Equipment manufacturers like Apple or Dell (both will take back old equipment at no charge to you)
  • Nonprofits like the National Cristina Foundation will take donations
  • Freecycle or Craigslist FREE listings

What do you do with old electronics?

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(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by EcoATM. All opinions are my own.)

{Top image courtesy of kevin via flickr cc}

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