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How to Dispose of Old Electronics

Help the planet—and your wallet—by recycling your old gadgets.

Photo: Mark Viker / The Nest

Computers

Gotta have the latest PC or Mac? TechForward offers a pretty sweet buyback plan. Here’s the deal: If you buy a computer that you plan to upgrade in a year or two, register it at TechForward.com to find out what the item’s trade-in value will be down the road. Like the price? Then purchase a Guaranteed Buyback plan, and if you send them the computer within a designated time frame, they’ll cut you a check based on the trade-in price you were given and the computer’s current condition.
If you want to get rid of an older computer, many manufacturers (like Apple, Dell and Sony), as well as some retailers (including Best Buy), will donate or recycle your old desktop or laptop for free. (Go to epa.gov for more info.)

Cell phones

Wondering what to do with the huge Startec gathering dust in your junk drawer? Many cell phone providers, like Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, will recycle your old cell for you (go to RecycleWirelessPhones.com for dets), or you can search for a donation program in your ‘hood by logging onto Recellular.com.
If you’ve got a 3G iPhone but want to upgrade the 4G, NextWorth (nextworth.com) will send you a check for your used Apple products, depending on the condition. Or, try Flipswap (flipswap.com). They’ll mail you a check after assessing the value of your old cell. Pretty sweet, huh?

Other gadgets

For all your other electronics, head to Gazelle.com, which offers trade-ins, cash, or recycling for all types of gizmos. While you may not get a huge payback, at least you’ll get something for your green effort.

Replace those old Electronics- How to But a Computer.

-- Paula Kashtan

See More: How to , Buying Electronics , Buying Guides , Eco