How to recycle your phone, PC, and other tech gear

Recycling is mandatory in many states. Here's how to choose among the many ways to sell, recycle, or give away all your unused or unusable gadgets

Think of this as an online swap meet. Sign up for a local Freecycle Yahoo group near you, post what you've got to give away, and if anyone's interested, they'll let you know, and you can make arrangements for doing so. It also works in reverse -- join a group and see if someone is giving something away that you want.


This site recycles not just old electronics, but also a variety of computer-related waste, such as printer cartridges, CDs, DVDs and more. You'll have to pay, though, and payment varies according to what you recycle. For example, you'll pay $34.95 to recycle an old desktop PC with a monitor (under 17 inches) or $19.95 each for a CPU, laptop, monitor or printer. Shipping fees are included in the price.

For CDs, DVDs, cell phones, pagers and similar "technotrash" (the site's term), you buy a technotrash can, fill it and send it to be recycled. Price varies according to what you're recycling -- for example, $59.95 for up to 70 pounds of waste (that includes postage).


This site boasts a wide range of what you can recycle, including cell phones, laptops, digital music players, gaming systems, GPS units, cameras, e-readers and more. However, it won't accept desktop computers or monitors.

Select the type of electronics you want to recycle and it takes you to a questionnaire that will help you describe it. You may have to know a bit about the specs of the product you want to recycle -- for example, if you want to send a laptop, you'll need to know the processor type and speed. Apart from that, though, it's straightforward to use. You get a pre-paid label for sending it in.


This e-Stewards-certified site helps you recycle your electronics in several different ways. You can search for local recycling services near you by doing a search by ZIP code. If you live in New York State, you can also recycle your devices via the site for free. Pack them all up in a cardboard box, and then get a free FedEx shipping label from a link on the site.

This story, "How to recycle your phone, PC, and other tech gear" was originally published by Computerworld.

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