Electronics are popular Christmas gifts and we all love getting them but what do we do with the old crap it’s going to replace? We used to have two choices, toss it in with the garbage or pay to get them recycled. Paying for them could get pretty expensive depending on the size and weight of the item so that obviously was not a popular option. According to the EPA, “In 2007, discarded TVs, computers, peripherals (including printers, scanners, faxes), mice, keyboards and cell phones totaled about 2.5 million tons.”
Now we have an easy way to get rid of all that old equipment, at least here in Washington State. As of Jan. 1st, 2009 a new law came into effect allowing residents to recycle those items for free at various locations throughout the state. Even if your item still works you can take it in and the company or store has the option of trying to resell it before sending it off to be chopped up and recycled.
I’ll be posting more links as I find them, but finding places to recycle this kind of stuff has turned out to be far more difficult than I thought. These links are not only for Washington State residents as you can see. I’ll be adding links from all over the country as I find them.
State-run or local programs
- 1-800-recycle – Washington State. To find a place near you choose
drop off and buy-back sitesand to select multiple material types hold the ctrl button down while selecting them.
- E-Cycle Washington – Has a lot more information about what can be recycled, why, etc.
- eRecycle.org – If you live in California you can go there to find a local recycle center. I’m not sure what’s free, I’ll have to do a little more research into it.
- Oregon E-Cycles – According to oregonlive.com “you can recycle your old televisions, computers and computer monitors for free.”
Company or business-run programs
- Apple.com – Go there for info about recycling your iPod or cell phone, regardless of the manufacturer, for free. If you buy an Apple computer or monitor they will also recycle your old monitor and computer for free, regardless of the manufacturer.
- Best Buy recycling – If you buy some new appliances from them or new TVs, they’ll take the old ones for free. There is also a link at the bottom for recycling events where you can take computers and other larger items.
- Best Buy trade-in – You can trade items in for Best Buy gift cards or just have them recycled. I had an old laptop recycled for free that they wouldn’t give me anything for. I just printed the shipping label right off their website, pretty simple.
- Dell – They recycle Dell products for free.
- Green Disk – You do have to pay to ship things to them, but $6.95 for 20lbs or less is a pretty good deal. I’ll be using them in the near future if I can’t find a free alternative. They also have options for businesses and bulk recycling.
- Toshiba – They have a similar program to the Best Buy trade-in. Get an estimate on what it’s worth, if it’s worthless you can print a free shipping label.
A lot of stores like Office Depot, Best Buy, and other stores that sell electronics take ink cartridges, batteries and cell phones for free. Typically they have little drop boxes directly inside their doors for that kind of stuff.
If you have any links to add please feel free to leave them in a comment and I’ll add them to my list, whether it’s a Washington State thing or not.