How often do we think about “going green” but end up primarily focused on the “green” in our wallets? Well, what if I told you that you could do both simultaneously? After all, just last year the United Nations released a study reporting that at least 44.7 million tons of e-waste had been discarded in the year 2016. However, of that mass, only about 20 percent was properly disposed of. That said, while most people do manage to end up with a surplus of electronics—laptops, cell phones, tablets, and more—a lot of those people don’t manage to take advantage of the various smart and responsible ways to recycle those electronics while also generating money.
First things first: how can you recycle your unwanted tech while still receiving some payback for it? If you’re in need of some of the monetary benefits that accompany the process of cleaning your technological clutter, be sure to start with tech firms. These sort of manufacturers and retailers will usually take your laptops, phones, and whatever else you’re trying to part with, all while offering rewards for these products. For example, Sprint offers a BuyBack program that offers up to $300 for used cell phones, and Apple’s GiveBack program features available credit or gift cards of up to $1,000 for applicable electronics. From Office Depot to Amazon to Best Buy, there are plenty of options out there that will allow you to recycle your electronics while still gaining from the process.
Moreover, you can make a more positive impact by recycling your used-but-usable products and ensuring that the proceeds go to charities and non-profit organizations. For instance, Dell Reconnect is partnered with Goodwill to accept just about any computer or computer accessory that comes their way, and eBay has its “eBay for Charity” that allows sellers to donate their acquired funds to any charity of their choosing.
Finally, you can simply take your unwanted electronics to your local recycler. While there might not always be a monetary benefit in this, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re not contributing to the majority of people who improperly dispose of their technological goods, thereby risking further harm to the environment as a result of toxic components. If you’re not sure where to recycle, just Google the group Call2Recycle. According to their website, this non-profit allows you to “drop off your old batteries for free at thousands of convenient locations across the U.S., including The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Staples.” It couldn’t be easier.
In all cases, it’s incredibly important to remember to wipe all of your personal and identifiable information from your electronics prior to donating or disposing of them. This way, your electronics get a fresh start without jeopardizing your privacy or safety.
At the end of the day, recycling isn’t just good for the environment; it can be good for your wallet. Your unwanted electronics don’t have to drag you down and clutter your home! See it all as another financial opportunity—one that will benefit both you and the world you live in for years to come.