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The best way to recycle old phones, laptops, televisions, and batteries without harming the environment

Devices can accumulate over the years – just look in your drawers, in the garage or in a dark corner of your closet.

If you're not a self-disciplined cleaning guru like Marie Kondo, you probably have a chance Batteries, cables and older devices are used for nostalgic reasons or because you think you might be able to use them across the board.

Leave the Tech Museum to someone. You can do better than gather dust on this creaky old laptop, an old flip-phone, or a camera that you thought would have saved you one day for your kids. Whatever the technology is, when it's finally time to say goodbye, there is a right way to eliminate your old gadgets and many wrong ways. We will help you.

Why can not I just throw away my old devices and batteries?

When your electronics land on a landfill, it not only leaves behind wires and plastic (which is a problem) huge problem in itself). Electric waste, if disposed of or disposed of improperly, can damage you and the environment.

Most electronic devices contain toxic materials such as lead, flame retardants and chromium. These materials can damage human kidneys, blood and the nervous system, wrote Ilene Lubell, president of Mayer Metals Corporation, which recycles old electronics for businesses, in a blog post.

  A big old bunch of smartphones.

Never throw old phones in the trash.

Josh Miller / CNET

If electronics is disposed of incorrectly or thrown away, these toxins may end up in landfill or groundwater and evaporate into the atmosphere when heated, Lubell said.

There are a number of environmentally friendly methods of disposing of your old electronics that may help people in need or in underserved communities. It is important to note that the disposal protocol may vary depending on the device.

Behind the scenes, devices are recycled, refurbished or redistributed. Sometimes they are mined or melted down to extract the rare earths. Apple's Material Recovery Lab in Texas uses robots to mine iPhones ($ 1,000 on Amazon) at a rate of 200 devices per hour.

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OK, I'm sold. What should I do before I leave my device?

If you're done with batteries or a gadget, make sure it's done with you. Even when it's old, someone just needs a charger to reboot their old phone or computer to get their personal information.

The moral of this story: Make sure you back up everything you want on the device – photos, videos, songs, etc. – and then do a factory reset – do not worry, we'll give you clues to wipe Your device in the following sections on phones, laptops and cameras.

All These Empty Batteries

There are several ways to properly dispose of disposable and rechargeable batteries, such as AA, AAA, and D-cell, batteries that are common in flashlights, toys, and other household electronics.

At Best Buy, Whole Food, Home Depot, Lowes and Staples, there are free drop-off points to take empty batteries out of their hands. We recommend that you keep the used batteries in a container and store them when they are full.

You can also visit Earth911, a web site where you can find the nearest recycling facility based on the type of battery you want to dispose of (eg Alkaline, Button Cell, Lithium, Zinc Air, etc.). With Call2Recycle you can also find places where you can recycle your batteries.

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Electronic waste can have a second life after professional recyclers have gained copper and other valuable materials.

Sims Recycling Solutions

How to Recycle Phones

According to Call2Recycle

smartphones and their batteries are among the easiest to recycle electronic devices. Remember to transfer data and photos on your old phone to a new phone, or otherwise save your photos before resetting to factory settings. Remember to remove the SIM card if it still exists.

The company accepts all phones and batteries regardless of size, brand, model or age. Call2Recycle can prepare the device for resale or recycle the material for a new device. If you look closely, you may even be paid to recycle your phone.

If your phone is up to date, you may be able to trade it with a wireless service provider when you buy a new phone or sell it on the open market. Otherwise, recycling is the best way to get a dusty phone out of your hands.

Reading : How to Sell or Recycle Your Phone for Cash

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Cables are also fair game.

Taylor Martin / CNET

Best Buy accepts three phones per household per day, Lowes has recycling centers at each site, Home Depot accepts mobile phones up to £ 11, and Staples also phones.

Whole Foods uses Secure the Call to receive the emergency call. Only phones for seniors and domestic violence. Just make sure you bring the charger with you.

You can also donate your gently used cell phones to cell phones for soldiers. The program helps troops to call their families home for free. Local communities may also receive donations as part of a city-wide journey.

We also recommend contacting your employer to see how he handles e-waste. You may be able to add a few items to the collection.

Recycling Laptops Made Easy

Before you discard your old computer, you should ask yourself if it is still usable. If it's less than five years old, there's a chance that someone else can use it well, according to TechSoup. Newer laptops can visit local non-profit organizations or libraries after overhaul. You can find a program through the Registered Refurbisher directory from Microsoft.

If the device is too old or not in shape to donate, you can recycle it. Once again, our Earth911 friends make it easy: just search for "laptop computers" and enter your zip code to find the nearest location. Dell's Goodwill Reconnect program also accepts old and defective hardware.

Make sure that the program that you used to leave your old hardware on the EPA Certified Electronic Recyclers website is reputable, and contact the Refurbisher or the recycler to verify it.

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Newer laptops make big donations. Remember to clear the drives first.

Sarah Tew / CNET

If you bring your laptop, think of all the extras that came with it – keyboard, mouse, printer, modem, and any software. Usually, remanufacturers can repackage all of this. Remember to delete your data first!

If you donate your laptop, you can also take a tax break. Keep track of what you donated for the case. For more information, see the Sage BlueBook or Section 170 of the Income Tax Act if you feel particularly ambitious.

Chargers and cables can also be recycled.

If you're like my husband and keep boxes in cables with wires, chargers and cables in your basement (just in case you need one), this might be the time to let go. The type of wire you lay around could be worth something. You can search Capital Scrap Metal for prices. For example, from April 19, copper is estimated at $ 2.45 per pound.

You can also submit your cables to Best Buy, Staples, and other locations. Chargers can also be reused. If a cable with one device stops working, you may be able to work with another device. Economical!

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Otherwise, check your old cables, cables, chargers, and cables at STEM's local science, technology, engineering, and maths programs, Google STEM, National Center for Electronics Recycling, or Earth911.

Yes, you should recycle your old camera.

If you stick to camera relics from the early 2000s, there are a few places where you can lose your hands.

Best Buy and Home Depot accept cameras and camcorders. Lowes also takes cameras. Earth911 and Call2Recycle are of course options for the width of your used electronics.

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Sarah Tew / CNET

TV recycling is possible

TV sets are larger electronic devices. As a result, you may need a little more grease to get the job done, but do not be intimidated. Similar to donating and recycling phones and laptops, there are a few things you need to know to get rid of your old TV. If the device continues to work, you can donate it to a second-hand store.

If you can restore factory settings, Smart TVs are probably personal information. Pull out everything, bundle the cables neatly and glue them to the device. Use a dolly and be careful when moving the TV. The potentially toxic materials in the TV could get into your home if you drop it.

A Google search shows you a number of local recycling and donation centers that accept larger electronics. Best Buy, for example, gets two TVs per house for $ 20 a day when you get a new set – tube TVs smaller than 32 inches in diameter, portable TVs and flat screens, LCDs, LEDs, and plasmas of less than 50 inches. Single pickups cost $ 100. You can also store your TV in the store – three TVs (with accessories) per household per day.

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Originally on April 20 at 4 pm PT

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