Electronic waste has become the fastest growing waste stream in the world, with millions of tons of televisions, radios, computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices disposed of each year. Of those, less than 20% are recycled, and the rest end up in landfills. Because these devices are so full of toxic materials, it’s important to reuse, recycle, and properly dispose of these items. Fortunately, there are many options now available (and most free of charge):
- AT&T Reuse and Recycle Program will recycle your old cell phones, PDAs, batteries, and accessories (regardless of manufacturer or carrier). You can drop off your items at any one of their 2000+ participating stores, or download a postage-paid mailing label and mail it in directly.
- Best Buy Recycling offers recycling programs in all their US stores for televisions, DVD players, computer monitors, and more (up to 2 items per day). You can also trade in your unwanted devices for Best Buy gift cards.
- LG Electronics offers a free mail-in recycling program for old cell phones (any make or model)and free take back and recycling of any LG, Zenith, or Goldstar device (including televisions, monitors, audio equipment, and so on). Just drop off items (up to 5) at any of these locations. (Update: Link removed)
- Staples EcoEasy offers free in-store recycling of cell phones, small hand held electronics, and Dell products. Other brands require a $10 fee per item. Eligible toner cartridges are available for $3 rebates.
- US Postal Service offers free mail-in recycling of inkjet cartridges, PDAs, Blackberries, digital cameras, iPods and MP3 players. Just pick up postage-paid Mail Back envelopes located in the Post Office lobbies (no limit).
For a more extensive list of companies offering recycling and take back programs, visit the EPA eCycling website. If you’re looking for programs offered in your area, check out My Green Electronics, Call 2 Recycle, and Earth 911.
(Update: links removed)