Everything You Need To Know About How & Where To Recycle Used Electronics

Photographed by Franey Miller.
So you've upgraded to an iPhone 11 Pro. You left that single rear camera life in favor of three rear cameras. And we're happy for you. But now you're left with an obsolete hunk of metal and glass that very well might remain untouched in a shoebox underneath your bed for five years. Reader, don't do it. You can (and should!) recycle your electronics.
In some cases, e-waste can even be hazardous if not properly recycled, so it's important to rid your home of your electronic devices at the end of their life cycles — and not by just throwing them away. In fact, in certain states, it's illegal to do so. Not to mention, you could earn a nice chunk of change in the recycling process. So before you dump your old MacBook in the garbage (the horror!), check out one of these recycling and donation programs. (And be sure to look up your state's specific recycling information, as the regulations can differ depending on location.)

Apple Recycling Program

If you're upgrading an Apple device but your old one is still in good shape, you can give it back to Apple to be sold as a refurbished device to a new owner. If eligible (and you can determine your device's status here), you'll either get credit towards the purchase of a new device or an Apple Store gift card. This program applies to iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac, as well as certain Google, Samsung, LG, OnePlus, Nokia, and Blackberry phones. Depending on your model, you are eligible to receive up to $500 in credit.
From here, you'll be instructed to back up your device and then wipe it before either mailing it in with an Apple-provided shipping label and kit or bringing it into your nearest Apple Store. If Apple doesn't resell your device, it will be recycled via Apple's disassembly robot, Daisy, so that its internal parts can be reused.

Best Buy Trade-In

Best Buy will take in any used electronics you have, regardless of make or model, and recycle them for free — from TVs to cell phones to cameras. And for larger devices like kitchen appliances, you can schedule a home recycling pick-up for $99.99 as well. For qualifying devices (like an Amazon Echo or iPad Pro) you can trade in for a Best Buy gift card. At any Best Buy store, you can drop off rechargeable batteries, wires, cords, cables and plastic bags at the recycling kiosk, as well as electronics at the Customer Service counter. Best Buy works with recycling partners to make sure recycled electronics don't end up in landfills and that hazardous materials are disposed of properly.

Vizio TVs

If you're looking to responsibly dispose of your Vizio TV, you can either drop it off at a partnering drop-off location or mail it in. Vizio also can teach you how to properly break down the packaging that your device came in.

Other Recycling Resources

If you have a bunch of used batteries on your hands, Call2Recycle.org lets you ship your batteries (as well as cell phones) for free, or drop them off at local retailers like Home Depot. RecycleNation.com is another great resource, where you can simply type in your zip code and the type of electronic device you wish to recycle (everything from headphones to e-readers to projectors and medical equipment), and then you'll get a list of drop-off locations and businesses that accept donations near you.
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