Whether you're preparing to move, recently completed a move, or you are simply organizing and decluttering, you may find that you have old, damaged or otherwise unwanted electronics. It's human nature to look for the easiest solution and simply throw these items into the trash, but doing so can have adverse environmental effects and it's just downright wasteful. Luckily, many top electronic manufacturers and retailers have made the process of recycling old electronics and ink cartridges easy and free, sometimes even rewarding.
What Electronics Can I Recycle?
Just about all electronics can be recycled. Typical consumer electronics, such as TV's, computers, printers, ink cartridges, cell phones, GPS, audio equipment and video game consoles are accepted by most recycling programs at no cost. Larger items, such as appliances, are often excluded from these in-store recycling programs but there are options for these items as well, which we will discuss below.
How Do I Recycle?
The two best ways to recycle electronics, in terms of both speed and hassle, are detailed below.
Direct to Manufacturer
Every manufacturer we checked out had a recycling program already in place. All of these programs were also free. Simply fill out a form and the manufacturer will send you a prepaid envelope or box so that you can return the item(s) for recycling. Here at Elite Moving Labor, we regularly send back our used printer ink cartridges to Lexmark.
Drop Off at Retail Store
If you don't mind physically dropping off your items, many major retailers have recycling programs available at their local stores. Best Buy, for instance, will accept many types of electronics for recycling, regardless of where you bought them. Other major electronics retailers, such as Office Depot, Staples, Target and Wal Mart have similar programs.
Get Paid for Recycling
While researching different recycling programs we found that many retailers also offer some kind of incentive or trade-in option for electronics that still have value. So, if you needed an incentive to recycle, this is your chance to get paid for helping our environment stay healthy.
Recycling Large Appliances
As we mentioned earlier, large appliances are typically excluded from recycling drop off programs. Fortunately, there are several ways to easily recycle these items for free as well.
Haul Away With New Purchase
Many retailers will offer to haul away and recycle larger appliances when you purchase new ones from them. Best Buy and Sears are two top retailers that offer this program for refrigerators, washers and dryers as well as other appliances.
Scrap Metal Recyclers
Take a quick look at your local Craigslist and you will probably find a lot of advertisements for people willing to pick up your old appliances for free. Appliances contain valuable components, such as copper, which they can sell to recycling centers. You likely won't be compensated for your appliance, but they will handle the hassle of picking it up and transporting it to a recycling center.