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Contributing Editor
Kristina Strain

We Americans are surrounded by unwanted electronics, e-waste, and techno-junk. We know they should be recycled, we just don’t know how. Unlike a soda can or a cardboard box, we can’t just foist an outmoded cell phone off with the week’s recycling pickup. And it’s too bad, because many of us are living with the clutter of e-waste everyday. Technology and our changing lives has made it obsolete, yet our guilt keeps us from throwing it away.

To the rescue, we present a comprehensive guide to electronics recycling. Read on for a complete problem-solving guide.

In the interest of preventing e-waste in the first place, you might want to check out our Electronics Smart Shopping Guide before your next purchase.

Cell phone Recycling. Check at your local electronics store; many stores accept old phones these days. Radio Shack, Best Buy, and Costco all have electronics recycling drop-offs. Oftentimes, this looks much like a library book or DVD drop box, making the process even more convenient.

Printer cartridge Recycling. As e-waste goes, these are pretty easy to get rid of. Many colleges and larger companies have cartridge recycling programs, but if yours doesn’t, your best bet is to take your old cartridges to Staples. At Staples, you even rack up incentives for each cartridge turned in (up to ten!) to apply to the purchase of new cartridges.

iPod Recycling. Old iPods can be returned to Apple stores for recycling, and you’ll receive 10% off the purchase of a new one. It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.

Television Recycling. Many electronics stores and waste management facilities will take back old televisions. Check out the handy recycling drop off locater at Earth911.com.

Computer Recycling. The first step is to check on the manufacturer’s website. Apple, Dell, and Sony all have established recycling programs, just to name a few. Your local landfill or waste management facility may also have designated e-waste collection days; check their website to find out. For a third option, the California-based company PowerOn will send you a shipping carton for your old computer. Pack up the box, take it to your nearest FedEx location, and, once received, PowerOn promises to send you a gift card for your troubles.

Armed with this knowledge, go forth and set about clearing your home of all unwanted e-waste. And remember, for tips on preventing the accumulation of e-waste in the first place, check out our Electronics Smart Shopping Guide.

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