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How to Recycle Your Gadgets

How to Properly Recycle Your Unwanted Electronics

Earth Day may have come and gone, but that doesn't give you an excuse to toss your old or unwanted electronics in the trash once you've moved on to new models. This photo, which comes from a Cisco insider, shows a ton of the last-of-their-kind Flip cameras being rounded up into a trash can. While it's kind of sad to see them dumped, I'm hoping that Cisco is planning to recycle them properly. If you're wondering how exactly to recycle your laptops, phones, or camcorders, here are a few tips for you.

  • Do your research. Make sure you are donating or recycling with a reputable operation. Check out recycles.org in order to be anonymously matched with a charity looking for your specific type of laptop, or search online for a recycling point near you.
  • Erase it! This is the most important thing you can do with old laptops or computers that you are giving away. Run a program that wipes your hard drive clean before you pack it up, or try out some of these tips for securely deleting your info.
  • Do some cleanup. If you are donating to a charity, take a few minutes to wipe down your laptop's monitor and keys. The extra time you take to clean off all those fingerprints and crumbs will be much appreciated!

Find out where you can drop off your old gadgets (or sell them for charity or profit) after the break.

  • Track down a recycling center — 1800recycling makes it easy to find a place in your 'hood that will take your old phones off your hands and recycle them in a way that's good for the planet.
  • Donate in-store — Verizon has partnered with the HopeLine charity and is stocking its stores with donation bins so you can do good before you leave. Ordering online? Just print the postage-paid label online and send off your phone to benefit victims of domestic violence.
  • Drop it off at Best Buy or Target — Picking up your new phone from Best Buy or Target? On your way out you can toss your old phone in one of its new recycling bins, along with any other computer or component items that are just lying around your house. A clean house is a happy house.
  • Pop it in the mail — My Boneyard makes recycling your phone a no-brainer: just register your phone online, then pop your phone in the prepaid envelope you'll receive in the mail, and send it back. You may even get a cash reward (that you can keep, or donate to charity).
  • Sell it — Strapped for cash now that you've thrown down for a new smartphone? You can always sell your phone online, and I have the tips to get you top dollar.
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