With regard to clutter, old clothes, books, papers, furniture and kitchen utensils are increasingly becoming a backseat for cell phones, laptops, cables and probably in an old cassette or CD player.
The problem is that you can not always throw those devices in the trash or leave them on the street to be picked up.
Most electronic products contain materials that are toxic and dangerous to the environment, not to mention precious materials.
Televisions, computers and cell phones, for example, have heavy metals such as mercury, lead and arsenic, which run the risk of spilling into landfills.
In addition, many of the metals in cell phones, such as copper, gold. Silver and palladium are rare or precious; Recycling can help recover and reuse metals.
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While there is no federal law prohibiting the disposal of many electronic devices other than refrigerators and cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions, which have freon and lead glass, respectively, approximately 25 states, including California, Illinois, New York and Texas, have strict Laws that require the green disposal of electronic waste.
Even in states that do not have bans, some cities and counties may have passed electronic product recycling laws. For more information on local regulations, see the Electronic Recovery Coalition website.
But even if you can technically get rid of your electronic devices with the rest of the garbage, the practice is not good for the earth, especially when there are so many better options from recycling to donation and sale.
These are some tips to get rid of your devices efficiently, safely and sometimes even profitably.
There are so many options to recycle your electronic devices that it can be the easiest and fastest way to do the digital cleaning job. Many manufacturers, retailers and even cell phone operators offer their own programs.
For cell phones, wireless servers such as AT & T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, not to mention manufacturers, including Apple, LG and Samsung, will allow you to mail or return old phones for recycling at retail stores and other deposits. . locations
HP not only accepts printers and computers for recycling, but also the ink and batteries used in those products (and will even give you a 15 percent discount on a new printer when you change the previous one).
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Meanwhile, Staples and Best Buy will recycle almost everything they sell for free. BestBuy will even take your old TV (CRT models up to 32 inches and flat panels up to 50 inches) for $ 25 per barrel (not bad, since the first is difficult to recycle). The store will even pick up and remove larger items for a fee.
Meanwhile, Staples and Best Buy will recycle almost everything they sell for free.
Many cities and towns have local electronic cycling centers and will collect your things along with your other recycling. In addition, many communities organize electronic cycling units on specific days and places where you can leave all your old things at one time.
See TIA E-Cycling Central or Recycle Nation for a list of units, delivery centers and recycling centers near you.
Bonus advice: Before leaving an item, be sure to take out removable batteries from laptops, smartphones, cameras and more. The same goes for printer ink cartridges. These must be recycled separately.
Making money with your old devices is easier than you think. Dozens of electronics-specific "e-commerce" sites, such as Gazelle, Gizmogul, Decluttr and Gone, offer easy-to-use applications and websites to sell their smartphones, tablets, laptops and old watches.
In Gazelle, for example, the process usually involves entering information about your device: all you need is a serial number and a condition, unless you prefer to enter more details manually.
In seconds, the service quotes you a price, which is valid for up to 30 days, and can be canceled at any time. Then, all you have to do is reset and erase the data on your device and place it in a prepaid package that Gazelle provides.
Do you want instant money? Then, go to one of the more than 3,000 Gazelle ecoATM kiosks, which perform product evaluations and dispense cash at the moment, assuming the phone is worth it. Typically, newer phones get higher prices (six-month-old iPhones in good condition have a 50% discount off the original price), but you'll be surprised how even that old Samsung tablet from 2012 could get you $ 5.
And even if your device has no value, Gazelle and ecoATM will at least recycle it, making the mess disappear instantly.
Unfortunately, Gazelle only buys Mac laptops. Those with Windows or PC laptops, even those that are damaged, can try SellBroke, which works similarly to Gazelle and other electronic products reseller sites by offering free shipping, purchases and payments. through Google Pay or PayPal. SellBroke also buys used smartphones, tablets, iPods, desktop computers, cameras, smart watches and drones.
The best time to sell phones is before new models are announced.
To sell other devices such as printers, cameras, speakers, video game consoles, headphones and more, you may need to adopt the traditional approach and do it on your own. Skip Craigslist, which does not charge any commission, but does not have any real security guarantees and requires you to examine and meet prospective buyers.
For a 9% commission, Ebay allows you to sell most items in any condition, even if they are broken, and offers security through PayPal transactions and online assistance and resolution. In addition, you can always auction items, which potentially offer higher sales prices. Just be sure to pack and ship the items quickly, since the ratings of your vendors depend on it.
Like Craigslist, Letgo is useful for large items such as TVs that are easier to download in person than through UPS or FedEx, but it also offers some built-in verification features, including the ratings of buyers and sellers and the ability to chat with a potential client. through the application before exchanging any phone number or email.
Particularly useful is the tool & # 39; Reveal & # 39; from the mobile application Letgo, which uses image recognition technology to automatically identify what you're selling when you take a photo of it, and then complete some description fields in your ad automatically. Letgo also lets you list your things for free, if getting rid of them is all you need.
Expert's suggestion: It's about synchronization. The best time to sell phones is before the new models are announced, so if you see headlines about Apple's next announcement for the iPhone, it may be time to include your device in a Gazelle.com appointment, since the price you can get goes down between 10% and 20% once a new iconic phone comes out.
Similarly, around the holidays, from Thanksgiving onwards, you are likely to sell your old technology at a higher price, and quickly, as demand increases. In addition, the different re-commerce sites offer different prices. To see which one pays better for what you're selling, check with Flipsy, which compares the value of your phone to different sites.
Exchange it in
Are you planning to update your iPhone? As with cars, Apple offers an exchange program that will automatically reduce the price of the latest models, usually between $ 75 and $ 300 off, depending on the age of your phone.
If you're a frequent buyer in large retail stores or online, try the Amazon Exchange, the Best Buy Exchange or the Target Exchange, each of which offers gift cards in exchange for your old devices.
Wait for new iPhones to come out before considering changing your phone.
While you can get more by selling your own device, nothing better than the convenience of changing your old device personally in a store.
Expert's suggestion: Wait for new iPhones to come out before considering changing your phone. Typically, Apple offers additional trade credit in and around the releases of its latest models (sometimes doubling the amount it generally offers).
From local schools and students in developing countries to veterans and soldiers, there are many people and places that need their old devices.
In addition, you can get a tax refund for donating computers and other devices that have a value of more than $ 1,000. As with the sale and exchanges, cell phones are the easiest to donate.
Cell phones for soldiers, for example, will restore their old phones, tablets and MP3 players, then resell them and use the proceeds to buy prepaid calling cards for active military service abroad, in addition to providing emergency funds for the military. veterans
If you still have a foldable phone for 10 years, do not worry: cell phones for soldiers will recycle it, but you can also donate old telephones for Secure the Call, which reconditions them only for use in 911 and sends them to people, institutions and communities that do not have easy access to public telephones or other ways to communicate with emergency services.
Desktop computers and flat panel monitors, laptops, USB keyboards, scanners, routers, projectors, camcorders, webcams, microphones, and even hard drives and hard drives can be used through the World Computer Exchange, which reconditions these devices and sends them to schools in more than 79 developing countries around the world, not to mention domestic disaster areas such as Puerto Rico.
The Goodwill E-Cycle program offers an even wider range of items, from practical ones (remote controls, modems) to obsolete ones (answering machines and pagers) and collectibles (electric typewriters, tape players, music equipment) . The items are evaluated and then destroyed, recycled or restored and resold.
For some of the less obvious devices, such as in-car navigation devices, CB radios or even video game systems, try sending a description of your articles to Computers with causes or Jealousy.
These organizations will evaluate your possible donations and will look for charities that need or have expressed interest in them.
Even easier, leave your old appliances in a box outside your home and let them pick them up. Please, take them for you. With the exception of older CRT or DLP televisions, the organization will acquire virtually any small to medium-sized electronic device, as well as small kitchen appliances, with only 24 hours in advance.
Donations are auctioned to the resellers and the proceeds are used to fund Vietnam Veterans of America.
Expert's suggestion: Whether you're recycling, selling, exchanging or donating your device, be sure to remove your personal information and data from smartphones, laptops, tablets, smart TVs and any other device you're logged in to.