A United Nations study reported tat 44.7 million tons of e-waste was discarded in 2016, and only 20 percent of it was disposed of properly. Many of the materials used in making these products can be recovered and reused, including plastics, glass, and metal. First, make sure to completely erase all personal information. Here’s how to get all your personal data off your devices. Once that’s done, here are your options.
1. Recycle at the Newton Resource Recovery Center
There is no cost to drop it off in the large shipping container labeled “e-Waste” at 115 Rumford Avenue in Auburndale. Place items in the box they correspond to within the container. The Resource Recovery Center is open Monday to Saturday from 7:30am-2:30pm. Closed on Sundays and Holidays.
If your used gadget still works—or, in many cases, even if it doesn’t—there are programs that can help you get your old devices to people who need them.
- Dell Reconnect is a partnership with Goodwill that accepts any brand of computer, as well as “just about anything that can be connected to a computer,” according to the website. You can drop off used devices at participating Goodwill locations around the country.
- AmericanCellPhoneDrive.org collects all brands of used cell phones and will refurbish and resell, or responsibly recycle them, in support of a variety of good causes.
- The World Computer Exchange is on a mission to diminish the digital divide in developing countries and to promote the reuse of and proper recycling of electronics. It provides used computers, peripherals, and many other types of gadgets to communities around the world.
- 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.
3. Take It to a Tech Firm
Many electronics manufacturers and retailers offer robust recycling programs. A chart at the EPA’s website lets you search programs by product or company. The following 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’s GiveBack program offers up to $1,000 in gift cards or in-store credit for qualifying products. The company will also accept and recycle any product that does not qualify. And, through April 30, Apple will make a donation to Conservation International for every device received.
- Best Buy offers recycling options for a wide range of electronics, no matter where you bought them.
- Sprint’s Buyback program offers account credits of up to $300 for mobile phones from any carrier. For specific details on other phone programs, check the manufacturers’ websites.
- Amazon pays up to $200.91 (in the form of an Amazon gift card) for just about any kind of electronics device, as well as for music CDs and video games.
- Office Depot and Staples offer members of their affinity programs store credit of $2 per printer cartridge (with some restrictions) for up to 10 cartridges per month. Most printer manufacturers, including HP, Epson, and Canon, also have their own recycling programs.