How to Recycle Electronics

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Your collection of cell phones, toasters and other electronic devices will grow over the years. An investment in new electronics for your home and office creates the problem of finding the right place for obsolete technology. There are many ways you can do your part for the environment by recycling electronics.

  • Recycle by donating personal and office electronics that still function. Local organizations that offer clothing and supplies to low-income families offer a socially responsible way to recycle your electronics. Ask for a slip from the receiving clerk that accounts for the estimated value of your donations.

  • Concentrate your purchase of new MP3 players, microwaves and DVD players to increase the impact of your recycling efforts. Repeated trips to donation centers and recycling sites will increase your gas expenses, casting doubt over the value of your electronics recycling.

  • Find contact information on the sales and warranty slips for all of your consumer products for manufacturer recycling programs. Most computer and office-supply companies offer free packaging and postage for select products to encourage recycling by consumers.

  • Unplug your electronics at least 24 hours before you recycle to aid recycling professionals. Electronic devices feature capacitors that store energy while products are not in use. They can cause electric shocks if mishandled.

  • Examine your state's recycling program to determine options for recycling your electronics. Most states with comprehensive recycling programs have partnerships with third-party vendors who can receive your electronics at designated drop-off points.

  • Sell your electronics to a second-hand store in your community as a way to earn some money from recycling. Video-game stores, record shops and other places that sell used products offer opportunities to cut the costs of new electronics.

  • Place your consumer electronics on Internet-auction sites to share or sell your used products with fellow consumers.

  • Donate to an inventor. Inventors can strip consumer electronics for parts as an inexpensive way to build up supplies for future inventions.

  • Store old electronics properly if you intend to donate or sell these items in the future. You should devote space in a closet on the main level of your home to avoid moisture and extreme-weather changes during storage.

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