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Going green: Tips for recycling consumer electronics

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Consumer electronics have different “life spans” — for example, a smart phone lasts 18 months, while a television lasts 10-plus years.

If your tech product is still in good condition, you should consider reselling or donating it to your local school, retirement home and/or community center. You might be surprised how valuable your “old” device is to someone else.

Another option is recycling (“eCycling”). GreenerGadgets.org has a ZIP code search tool to help you find a recycling location near you. This list below only includes industry programs, which use strict standards, and third-party certified recyclers so rest assured your device will be safely recycled! And remember: before you drop off your old TV, computer or other device, call ahead to confirm they’ll accept your donation.

Here’s a list of several eCycling programs:

Panasonic offers a plan for recycling of Toughbook mobile computers that have reached the end of their life-cycle. The process works the same for all customers and is free of charge.

Digital Links has distributed more than 50,000 reused computers to the developing world and provided access to technology for more than 125,000 people.

Close the Gap makes reused and refurbished computers available to underprivileged individuals in Africa and other developing countries.

Staples offers cash for printer cartridges and in partnership with HP provides free electronics recycling for all brands of office electronics (excludes TVs) at Staples stores across the U.S.

Recyclebank offers a points system for recycling, which you can then use for discounts and merchandise. The site boasts more than 2 million users.

NextWorth offers great values for your used devices through both online and in-store programs.

e-Cycle purchases mobile phones and tablets for reuse and recycling. They provide free data deletion and shipping.

Hewlett-Packard in partnership with Staples provides free electronics recycling for all brands of office electronics (excludes TVs) at Staples stores across the U.S. HP also offers customers a choice of cash, donation to charity, or HP gift card for most computer equipment. Go to the website to get a quote.

Gazelle.com paid out $25 million for consumer electronics.

Amazon.com offers gift cards through its electronics trade-in program.

Best Buy’s cash mail-in or in store trade-in program.

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