E-waste can be recycled at mobile kiosks
RECYCLING

Clean out your Junk Drawer and Recycle Your Electronics

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Declutter your house by recycling electronics and find some potential cash or donation opportunity

Are you trying to be more eco-friendly but struggle with finding where to recycle your electronics? This is the place to learn what companies offer free recycling programs and where you can even earn some cash for trading in your old phone!

Points covered in this reading: 

  1. Take the declutter challenge and start with your junk drawer
  2. How to find places recycling electronics near me
  3. Batteries 
  4. TV and laptops
  5. Copiers and printers
  6. Old phones
  7. How to earn some cash recycling your phone

Believe it or not but recycling is something you can do for free, and sometimes make some extra cash!

Let me tell you I really do enjoy finding ways to be more active in the sustainable living community, and recycling is one of those ways.

I feel like it’s one of the topics not a lot of people participate in about because of lack of knowledge.

I’m here to shed some light on the subject and hopefully help you find free options to clear the clutter of your junk drawer and maybe make a few bucks while you’re at it (hello free coffee treat). 

Organize your junk drawer

Ahh, the dreaded junk drawer. Every household has one (or two) and every one avoids eye contact when stuffing one more thing in there and hoping the drawer stays shut. But now is the time to do your spring cleaning and declutter that junk drawer!

Get started by taking some time this weekend or trade 5 minutes of social media scrolling to take the declutter challenge!

I love doing 5 minute intense cleaning because it is VERY focused. Finally get to those cleaning tasks done because 5 minutes isn’t that long to do the dreaded things…like the junk drawer.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn that timer on.
  2. Pick a task you’ve been meaning to do.
  3. And get to it! Best game plan for this scatter-brained momma because I get easily distracted.

A lot of old batteries are often found in my junk drawer. Most of the time these are non-working or half working batteries. You can always test a battery with a tester such as the insert affiliate link.

Junk drawers can be gold mines for useable tools or a clutter that causes you a headache. Either way you can cut down on the junk by recycling those broken digital gadget.

You’re drunk drawer May hold other things such as old cell phones or chargers.

I’m not sure why hoarding old cell phones with broken screens are so hard to let go of, but it turns out it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t get rid of those.

There are now some recycling options that give you cash for your old phones any condition not just working. Keep reading to find out how this works!

Electronic recycling near me can be hard to find

A lot of people want to get on the recycling trend but find it hard to get started because they are not aware of programs or locations that accept worn out electronics.

Finding a local drop off point for your electronics is a easier task than you think.

Here are some ideas on just how easy it is and where you can find it: 

  1. Doing a simple search on google 
  2. Bestbuy
  3. Kroger or Walmart phone recycling kiosk for cash
  4. Home improvement store for light bulbs or batteries 
  5. Office supply store
  6. Auto parts store for car’s core battery exchanges

We will take a deep dive in electronic disposal with each of the previously mentioned companies, but just so you know your options as far as how often you can take an item in and what is accepted.

Once you realize the available options around you you will see that being a mindful consumer and recycling your electronics properly is easier than you think.

Let’s get to the free electronic recycling options available and how to find them

The simple option is to just google it, but you can cut out the middle man by going to local companies that first sell the products you are trying to get rid off responsibly.

  • You can always simply Google terms like “how to recycle a TV” or “electronic recycling near me”. That is the number one way people find options.
  • Or you can use places where you buy electronics from because chances are they have a recycling program.

Companies like BestBuy or Staples are great options because they’re recycling programs are really easy to use.

BestBuy’s recycling program allows you to bring in three items a day and can even schedule bulk item pick up. You can even schedule a pickup for bulkier items such as big TVs. 

Office supply stores such as Staples or office Depot are the great places to recycle as well. They sell the gadgets, so it makes sense for company’s to have a electronic waste recycling system in place.

Staples recycling services accepts a lot bulk items to dispose of like shredders, flash drives or fax machines. However they do NOT accept batteries, light blubs or televisions so check the list before you go by clicking here.

How to recycle batteries

Did you know that improper disposal of batteries can result in some serious ramifications not just for the Earth but for you? Kind of scary stuff when you get reading about mercury or lead leaking into the soil.

Hence the need to recycle batteries properly to avoid bigger problems. Some of the ways to do this include: 

Recycling car batteries at your local automotive store or home improvement store.

Usually car batteries are easy to keep out of landfills because a core reimbursement is given when you buy a new battery but bring in the old one. This ensures proper disposal of car batteries. 

Now all the other batteries such as C, D and A batteries can be taken to again your local home improvement store and properly added to the battery bin. 

If you want to know more here is an article from Battery Solutions on how to Dispose of Old Batteries. In this article they do give permission to use your trash bin to dispose of batteries since they are now made with materials that are less dangerous than previous models.

The simple solutions for single use battery disposal is to look for bins at local home improvement stores, but it is okay to throw away batteries.

Recycle TV’s and laptops responsibly 

Unfortunately we live in the day and age where timed expiration is something the technology world commonly uses.

This is where electronics have a expiration date so that manufacturers can continue launching new products ensuring users dependency on getting the latest because their old phone or laptop just isn’t working like it used to.

Sound’s silly? Well Quora has some interesting articles on the matter. If you want to start down that rabbit hole, check out this forum.

Most phones and laptops fall victim to timed expiration with constant updates that are not compatible with software programs in that particular phone.

You could say technology advances so fast that it just can’t keep up with itself.

Whatever the reason, recycling TV’s is it great way to keep landfills properly sorted.

If you have sadly had to say goodbye to your laptop make sure you swipe the main drive before contacting places like Best buy to recycle your computer.

I tend to back up all my files to Google drive. But a lot of people can use programs like Shutterfly for their pictures or Dropbox.

You can take it one step further and get an external hard drive to store your pictures on so you always have physical copies or at least something you can hold with your pictures on it if you don’t trust e files.

Don’t forget to recycle old gaming systems that no longer work! Don’t just throw them away or donate knowing they are not in working order. Instead recycle old systems or try repurposing projects!

What to do with broken copiers and printers

Got any clunky printers that are out of date, too expensive to keep ink in, or just don’t want right since you moved?

Yeah..I have to admit to holding on a little too long to my old chunky printer.

But its for a good reason!

Replacements for ink cartridge’s cost so much to buy for some copiers and I can’t seem to let it go. Pro tip – before buying a printer always check how much the ink replacements are.

Bunny trailI do want to say I’m a big fan of the instant ink program because it is a $10 plan that gives you a couple hundred pages to print and you have unlimited ink cartridges that I sent to your door. No, I am not an affiliate to this program. I just like the program that much! That’s right if you want to print off pages heavy in color you can do so and not be punished. I love this because digital wall art and products are on the rise and I like to frequently change out my home décor.

Back to copier and printer recycling, the best places to dispose of properly these machines are the office supply stores such as Staples or Office Depot.

Stores will accept any brand and any state and do a recycling pickup for you. So before you haul off these gems to Goodwill for them to deal with the problem, think about utilizing local programs.

Ever wonder how to recycle VHS tapes and Cassettes?

Not sure what to do with cassettes or VHS that don’t work? If you’ve ever wondered how to recycle VHS tapes or cassettes Green Citizen has a Mail-in Electronics Recycling option.

Because the type of plastic used to make the casing for tapes is a different material from the reels it requires disassembly.

Sadly the only way to responsibly dispose of VHS tapes or cassettes requires is with a paid service, so do some digging around to find a place near you.

The best option is to simply google search “how to recycle VHS tapes near me” sadly there is no one size fits all.

I have been looking at ways repurpose and was watching a TV series with my kiddo when I saw the art peice on the kids bedroom wall was cassette takes that had been glued to a board and pained gray.

I guess it could pass as an abstract artwork. It was really cool and would be great for a gaming room. I tried finding a picture but copyright issues don’t allow me to post it.

It was a “Good Luck Charlie” episode if you are comminuted to finding the example. But I’d like to try it as a project myself and my update this post later.

DVD or CD player disposal – saying goodbye because it’s time for an upgrade

Ahh sad day when you have to retire the ole CD or more rare, the cassette player! But it happens. In your sorrow though remember recycling is an option!

New life for repurposing tech parts is a great way to ease the sadness of letting go of your Amy Grant Christmas cassette playing days. 

Recycling your old phone for money

If you have been doing your shopping in store since the pandemic you will notice the checkout 10 to have a lot of machines around them now. Aside from Redbox there are recycling options for your cell phones.

I’m not going to lie sometimes you just have weeks where you are pinched for cash. These are the moments where I dig through my junk drawer and see if there are any electronics that I have been collecting that could be turned into cash.

This can be a win-win because you’re being a responsible consumer but also getting a little cash reward for yourself. Grocery stores like Kroger and Walmart have recycling your phone usually near the checkout.

This process takes 5 to 10 minutes and is quite painless. You can recycle phones that are cracked don’t turn on or take a charge or are okay just running slow.

You do however want to make sure your photos are backed up and then do a manufacturing reset. More on this below.

Once you have your phone ready you can take it in and get cash for an otherwise seen as junk item. 

The ecoATM is a kiosk you can recycle your old phone for cash instantly! Finding a kiosk near you is really easy and sometimes you can even get a quote for those old broken or SUPER slow cell phones.

How to initiate a factory reset

Now I am not a tech guru, so this is purely me telling you how to do a factory reset from my own knowledge.

Most electronics have the same concept so you should be able to power through a phone reset rather easily. Chances are if you have already switched to a new phone, you have backed up and transferred your files already.

Whether you are doing a factory reset on your laptop or cell phone the concept is still pretty simple.

Just be sure that you have backed up any files onto a USB external hard drive, Google, Dropbox or wherever you store digital copies. You cannot undo a factory reset so make sure it all transfers.

  1. Go to your electronics settings.
  2. Then find the systems category. (sometimes you will have to go to the advanced settings where you will find your backup options)
  3. Now you can back up to say a day before but you can also do a complete factory reset from here. I always get a little nervous at this part so don’t feel bad if you are slightly hesitate to click that reset button.
  4. When you do find the courage to go ahead and hit that reset button you will have a few minutes while it clears the phone.
  5. Once it is complete the phone usually will turn off and then back on and go through the process as if you had just bought the phone or a computer.
  6. Leave your phone at this stage. Recycling kiosks want your phone at this stage to protect your identify and avoid any struggles needing passwords to unlock the phone.

What happens after you get cash for your phone is beyond me, but I would assume it gets refurbished when possible. Hence the need for factory reset.

You are now ready to recycle your phone or computer – way to be a responsible consumer!

What’s the saying, not all superhero’s wear caps? Well that is so true for moments like this, because it takes a few extra steps to properly dispose of electronics instead of just throwing them out mindlessly.

As you can see getting your electronics out of your home doesn’t just feel good but can also be good for the environment.

Responsible disposal is worth taking the extra time or trip to make sure you are a mindful consumer when purchasing but also disposing of electronics.

Hopefully after reading all this you don’t feel so overwhelmed by the process. If you are still looking for a quick reference guide check out this digital download for purchase in my etsy store.

You can download and keep the e-file on your phone (for paperless) or print it off while you are mastering the art of recycling. Just remember, don’t throw out your old device, it could be worth some side cash. 

In conclusion, recycling electronics can get rid of clutter, earn you some side cash AND keep electronics out of the trash. 

Don’t forget to pin this post for later reference!

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