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Think Twice Before Tossing That Device: Here’s How to Recycle Electronics

Your kids haven’t touched that Nintendo 3DS since they graduated to the Nintendo Switch that they absolutely had to have for Christmas last year. So, what are you going to do with it and all of the other neglected devices that have been relegated to the junk drawer?

Our answer: recycle them.

Properly discarding your old electronics takes a little more planning and time, but you’ll be doing the environment a huge favor by keeping these products out of the landfill.

You may not know it to look at them, but many of your dusty handhelds hold within their plastic casings precious metals such as silver and gold, which can be reused in other products. (The less mining for these materials, the better.) Your abandoned cellphones and laptops also contain toxic materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and other things we don’t want leaking into our groundwater.

Plus, recycling electronics is the law. Denver does not offer curbside collection of electronic waste. Tossing these products in the trash could net you a hefty fine.

Here’s how to get rid of gadgets sustainably.

Before You Recycle

Don’t leave any information on your phone, tablet, or computer that could compromise your identity. Be sure to back up contacts, photos, music, and video files to another drive or cloud storage. Once you have your data on lock, wipe the device by restoring its factory settings.

Donate Your Devices

There are several worthy charities throughout the Denver area that accept donations of working laptops and computers. Organizations such as PCs for People refurbish desktop and laptop computers and distribute them to low-income families and nonprofits. COVID-19 may complicate the donation process, so be sure to call ahead for hours, pricing, and services.

Drop Off at a Certified e-Steward Recycler

To be sure your devices are recycled responsibly, drop them off at a certified e-Steward Recycler. The program recognizes electronics recyclers that adhere to stringent environmental standards when recovering hazardous electronic materials.

Check out this list of certified e-Steward Recyclers in your area.

Participate in an e-Cycling Event

Denver and surrounding communities host events inviting you to bring pretty much anything with a battery and a cord for responsible disposal. For a small fee, you can drop off old gaming consoles, TVs, desktops, laptops, and more in any condition. These events are sometimes by appointment only, so be sure to schedule in advance.

Trade for Cash or Credit

Before buying your next smartphone, see what programs are available to cash in your old iPhone or Android. Retailers such as Apple, Amazon, and Best Buy have opportunities to trade in qualifying electronics for credit or rebates.

Sell Them Online

Turn your pile of electronics into a pile of cash. Online marketplaces such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace make it simple to find a new home for your old gadgets and earn a little money. If you don’t want to deal with finicky buyers and all their questions, websites such as Green Buyback take the fuss out of the transaction with a free shipping label. Once you mail your device, they’ll inspect it and give you a quote.

Upgrade Them

Maybe all your computer needs is a new hard drive. A refurbishment can get it working like new, or better, with more memory and a faster processor. Giving it an upgrade will cost less than the price of a replacement and will keep your laptop out of the landfill.

Bottom line: Let’s keep gadgets out of the garbage. Recycling is the right thing to do. You can also help the environment by protecting your electronics and appliances with a whole-home surge protector and by ensuring your electrical panel is up to date. To schedule your appointment with Absolute Electrical, Plumbing, Heating & Air contact us here or call 720-669-4188.

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