This eco tech series is brought to you by our excellent sponsor, Sprint Replenish, which is helping us think of ways we can go green with our technology.

As much as we love our gadgets, we can’t help but think of how many of them end up in landfills when the next cooler, shinier, must-have comes out. Yikes. So we’re happy to have discovered 6 different eco-ways to trade in or recycle those gadgets, keeping the world safer for the next generation tech, and the next generation in general.

1. Dropoff Locations
Recellular is a favorite organization of ours, which details the recycling programs of dozens of phone carriers, service providers and charities. Click over and find one one of 40,000 drop-off locations near you for your old phone, including drop boxes. It’s a really helpful site in so many ways–be sure to check out their tips on erasing your cell phone data before you do.

You can also pop into any wireless retailer and they can provide you with a prepaid envelopes to mail in your old cell phone, if one didn’t come with your new phone to begin with. Easy.

If you’re not just recycling phones, irecycle is a great free app we discovered earlier this year. Type in the type of item and GPS will help determine where you can drop it off nearby.

2. Community Events
The EPA Website is a great source for finding e-cycling programs in your own neighborhood. We’re fans of  the Lower East Side Recycling Center for eco-minded New Yorkers looking for “eWaste” collection events around the city. On the other coast, All Green Recycling offers similar services for families around Southern California.

3. Charities
You can send your old tech direct to a charity like Cell Phones for Soldiers. Or ask your local public school, which just might welcome a computer or digital camera that you’ve outgrown, and you get the tax deduction.

toxins in a PC

4. Buyback sites
There are plenty of sites on the web that will give you cash for your old technology. How do you know which are worthwhile? Use comparison engines, like SellCell and EcoSquid which let you find the best offered price–as well as giving ratings for respectable service. It doesn’t matter if you were promised 80% of retail on that old eReader or MP3 player if the site is known for delaying payments for a year.

(Man, can eReaders be called old already?)

5. Home Pickup
In some cities, there are services that come right to your door for your discarded tech, for a fee. This can be worthwhile if you’ve got big bulky stacks. In New York, look at 4th Bin which will work with residences and businesses. They offer a lot of great info on their site, including the infographic above, on the toxins lurking in your home computer. A good reminder of why we recycle in the first place.


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