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Dec 27, 2020
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Most electronics contain toxic materials like lead, flame retardants and chromium and can't be dumped in a landfill. Before you discard your old electronics, make sure you clear off all your data. Back up anything you want off the device -- photos, videos, songs -- and then perform a factory reset to remove them. Phones and their batteries are some of the easiest electronics to recycle.

  • Batteries:
    - Best Buy, Whole Foods, Home Depot, Lowes and Staples all have free drop-off spots to take dead batteries off your hands.
    - Earth911 is a website that helps you find the nearest recycling location based on the type of battery you need to dispose of (for instance, alkaline, button cell, lithium, zinc-air).
    - Call2Recycle can also help you find places to recycle your batteries.
  • Phones:
    - Best Buy accepts three phones per household per day,
    - Lowes has recycling centers at every location
    - Home Depot takes phones up to 11 pounds
    - Staples also takes phones
    - Whole Foods works with Secure the Call to get 911 emergency-only phones to senior citizens and domestic violence shelters. Just make sure you bring the charger.
    - You can also donate your gently used phones to Cell Phones for Soldiers. The program helps troops call their families at home for free.
  • Laptops:
    - Newer laptops can go to local nonprofits or libraries after being refurbished. You can find a program through Microsoft's Registered Refurbisher directory.
    - If the device is too old or out of shape to donate, you can easily recycle it through Earth911. Just search for "laptop computer" and enter in your ZIP code to find the nearest drop-off site.
    - Dell's Goodwill Reconnect Program also accepts old and broken hardware.
  • Cables:
    - Drop off your cables at Best Buy, Staples and other locations.
    - donating your old cables, cords, chargers and wires at local science, technology, engineering and mathematics school programs, Google STEM, National Center for Electronics Recycling or Earth911.
  • Cameras:
    - Best Buy and Home Depot accept cameras and camcorders.
    - Lowes also takes cameras.
    - Earth911 and Call2Recycle are options.
  • TVs:
    - Best Buy will pick up two TVs per house per day for $20 if you're getting a new set -- tube TVs smaller than 32 inches, portable TVs and flatscreens, LCDs, LEDs and plasmas smaller than 50 inches. Standalone pickups are $100. You can also drop off your TV at the store -- three TVs (with accessories) per household per day.
    [Restore smart TVs to factory settings if they contain personal information. Unplug everything, bundle the cords neatly and tape them to the unit. Use a dolly and be careful while you're moving the TV, because the potentially toxic materials in the TV could release into your house if you drop it.]

  • CNET
  • Earth911
  • Call2Recycle
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