Four Ways to Recycle Your Old Electronics

The world generates over 53.6 million tons of electronic waste every year, and too much of that waste ends up in landfills. Luckily, charities and businesses have made it easier than ever to recycle old electronics. Here’s everything you need to know about how to recycle electronics in your area.

Why Should You Recycle Old Electronics

In 2020, retailers sold over 1.38 billion smartphones around the world. However, when customers purchase new phones, they often toss their old devices. Unfortunately, over 151 million phones are thrown away each year.
Most of the electronics that consumers throw away are recyclable. Moreover, throwing away a recyclable device can cause harm to the water, air, and soil.
The most important electronics to recycle include:
  • Old TVs: Older TVs contain lead, cadmium-based phosphorus and other toxic materials.
  • Cell Phones: Smartphones and cell phones contain gold, silver, copper and plastics that can be reused in future models.
  • Computers: Computer parts, plastics, and metals can all be reused if they are recycled.
  • Printers: Printers contain materials that can be reused in a range of other devices.
Electronic waste, when left in landfills, can cause damage to the environment by polluting waterways. In other instances, individuals may try to burn electronics, which releases toxic metals into the air.
In addition, cell phones, computers, and other electronics contain valuable minerals such as copper, silver and gold. According to Tech Dump, if consumers recycled these devices instead of throwing them away, they could save 35,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, and 75 pounds of gold annually.

Best Ways to Recycle Old Electronics

There are dozens of ways you can recycle or reuse old electronics and avoid sending them to landfills. Here are four easy ways to recycle electronics in your area.

1. Donate the Device

Donating functional devices is a great way to reuse old electronics while still avoiding the dump. In addition, there are a variety of nonprofit organizations and charities that accept old but functional electronics.
For example, the World Computer Exchange collects functional computers and laptops and distributes them in developing countries. Their goal is to reuse electronics and promote proper recycling for unusable devices.

2. Sell the Device Online

You can also reuse old electronics by selling them online to others who don’t mind using outdated technology. Options for selling electronics include eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craig’s List.

3. Take It to a Recycling Facility

For unusable technology, the best option is to take it to a recycling center. You can use Earth911 to search for locations that recycle old electronics based on your zip code. The site provides results for recycling facilities that accept cell phones, desktop computers, batteries, and more. Another site for locating recycling facilities is the Consumer Technology Association.
In addition, many Best Buy, Home Depot, and Lowe’s locations will accept old technology and recycle them for free.

4. Visit a Tech Manufacturer

Your fourth option is to take your old electronics to a tech manufacturer. One option is Amazon, which offers gift cards in exchange for used technology. Simply visit the Amazon Trade-In page, answer a few questions, and then print out your pre-paid packing label. Amazon will credit a gift card to your account within two days of receiving the item.
You can also trade-in devices to Apple, either in-store or online. In exchange for your used Apple devices, they will offer you credit towards your next Apple purchase or an Apple gift card. If the device isn’t eligible, they will safely recycle the device for you.

How to Make Devices Last Longer

The best way to limit the number of devices thrown away every year is by prolonging the life of your current device. Accordingly, you can protect your old electronic devices by purchasing an extended warranty.
Upsie offers extended warranties for a wide range of devices, including smartphones, smartwatches, laptops, gaming consoles, and more. Their warranties are affordable and comprehensive. For example, Upsie protects smartphones from:
  • Accidental damage, including drops and liquid spills
  • Battery failure
  • Power failure
  • Damage to cameras and lenses
  • Audio issues
  • Bluetooth failure
  • And more
By protecting your device with an Upsie warranty, you prolong its life and protect it from future damage. Essentially, warranties help your devices stay fresh for longer, thus limiting the waste issues from those who throw away their devices for fixable issues.

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