How Recycling Electronics Make a Difference

organize recycling


It’s started as a drip and now it’s a tsunami. The rate of new electronics coming into our home is beyond a pace we imagined.  New technology evolves faster and faster.  Recycling electronics makes a difference for our environment.  We can make the conscious choice to recycle electronics.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency:

  • Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 US homes in a year.
  • For every million cell phones we recycle, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.

A scary statistic is the pollution that is occurring in our landfills due to electronics.

  • According to the E.P.A., electronics comprise 1% of the material entering U.S. landfills; yet contribute 70% of the toxins found there.

Because of the rapid changes in technology, we often have a variety of items to recycle.  We can have multiple cell phones, computers, and tablets in our homes.  Here’s the basic steps to recycling electronics in your home or office as well as the many ways to recycle, donate and sell your items.

Steps to recycle

Before you change to a new device, be sure you are backing up. It’s easier than ever with different options. You can use the cloud (itunes), a service (Carbonite or Backblaze) or an external hard drive. Be sure to wipe clean your device so you can protect yourself from identity theft or other issues.  (Apple) (Android) . It takes a few extra steps but your security will pay off. You are ready to decide  then if you want to sell, donate or give away your electronics. Inspect your devices to decide if you are going to donate or sell your electronics to be sure they are in top condition to sell.

Places to donate

You can donate your used equipment to Goodwill, a local charity or at retail stores like Best Buy, Staples, and OfficeMax. Online site Ebay for Charity recycles your device and use the funds for a good cause.

Places to sell

There are more and more options to sell your used good equipment. You can sell your used equipment online at sites such as Amazon, eBay, Gazelle, Glyde and uSell.

There are cash incentives at a variety of stores to be used in many different ways.  When you purchase a new cell phone, use your existing phone as a trade in and reduce the cost of the new device. Some stores offer trade-in programs as an incentive to purchase there and trade in for a new device. Target’s trade-in program allows you to exchange old phones, laptops, video games and more for a Target gift card, Amazon will pay you for your old Kindle (plus hundreds of other old devices), Best Buy allows you to trade in-store. This gives you a little cash for your investment.


Good deeds that benefit all of us

No matter which path you take,  you are eliminating extra items in your home and clearing space.  For information about all recycling check out or Recycling your e-waste takes a few extra steps. Just like all recycling, it’s about creating a good habit.   You can find other ways to recycle electronics in your own community.   This contribution to global well being is well worth the time.

5 replies
  1. Patty
    Patty says:

    I am just in the midst of spring cleaning (I am trying the joy of tidying up method) but have the unfortunate reality of my husband having recently lost his job, so our old electronics need to fetch us a bit of cash. I will check out the sites you recommended… haven’t heard of several of them, like uSell. I was actually considering using a company called Orchard and I’m wondering if anyone else has had experience with this service? They’re at

  2. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    Thanks Patty! I have not heard of them but a new resource is always a good thing. I am so glad you are making progress with your electronics decluttering.

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