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CREDO Tip: 3 Eco-friendly ways to dispose of old electronics

Recycle symbol made from electronic image
We love our electronic devices – until we have to get rid of them. Then we’re not really sure what to do with them. How do you throw away your old devices? The simple answer is you don’t.

You may be surprised that many of the materials used in making these products can actually be recovered and reused.

Here are three Earth-friendly ways to dispose of old electronics and reduce your e-waste footprint.


Recycle old electronics

A good way to find places to recycle your e-waste is simply to do a Google search for “e-waste recycling near me.” Here in the San Francisco Bay Area where I live, that exact search resulted in several “10 Best e-Waste Recycling Center” articles to peruse.

Many nonprofits and local communities offer recycling options. One option is Call2Recycle which offers drop-off locations for rechargeable batteries and mobile devices all over the United States. Most cities sponsor collection days for electronics.

Donate old electronics

If your used gadget still works – or, in many cases, even if it doesn’t – there’s a charity or nonprofit out there that would be happy to have them. Remember to get a receipt so you can deduct your donation on next year’s tax return.  

Here are a few groups you might want to consider:

Dell Reconnect in partnership with Goodwill accepts all brands of computers and other items related to computers such as keyboards, monitors, hard drives and so on. Simply drop off used devices at participating Goodwill locations around the country.

ECO-CELL is the group CREDO Mobile works with to recycle cell phones. When CREDO members recycle their phones through ECO-CELL, it determines the phone’s value and sends CREDO the money. CREDO donates 100% of the money it receives from ECO-CELL to nonprofit groups.

The World Computer Exchange is a global education nonprofit that connects youth in developing countries to digital skills and opportunities. They are in need of working equipment.

eBay for Charity lets you sell your used devices (or anything else, actually) and donate part or all of the proceeds to a charity of your choosing.

Take It to a Tech Firm

Many electronics manufacturers and retailers offer recycling programs. A chart on the EPA’s website lets you search programs by product or company.

Here are just a few of the many programs that allow consumers to recycle old electronics. Check your brand’s or retailer’s company website for details on its program:

  • Apple has a GiveBack program that will accept and recycle any product. It also offers up to $1,000 in gift cards or in-store credit for qualifying products.
  • Best Buy offers recycling options for a wide range of electronics, no matter where you bought them.
  • Staples offers tech trade-ins among other recyclable options.

Enjoy your new devices! Just make sure to responsibly and safely recycle or donate your old ones.