Day 132 – The first personal computer was officially announced in 1957 and cost $55,000. Today, that dollar amount would be equivalent to $460,000. So, it’s crazy to think how inexpensive computers have become. They are so inexpensive that they have become disposable. Apple considers a computer over five years old to be “vintage”. Sadly, with as quickly as technology is advancing, it’s probably more like two to three years before your electronic device is outdated. So, what do we do with all that technology, when something new and better comes along?
For the electronics that are still working, there are places that will use them.
- Free Geek – FreeGeek Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used computers and parts to provide functional computers, education, internet access and job skills training to those who want them.
- The Assistive Technology Exchange Network (ATEN) – ATEN refurbishes and recycles donated computers and distributes them to individuals with disabilities.
There are many other organizations that take usable electronics. Please let me know if you have a favorite organization and I’ll be sure to add them to the list.
Electronics that may or may not work
- Best Buy
- Chicago Electronic Recycling Program
Once, again there are countless companies and municipalities that will take and recycle your unusable electronics. Some charge a fee, while others do not. The ones I listed here are free of charge.
Many companies have their own take back programs and trade in programs. Apple allows you to trade in old devices for credit toward new devices. Hewlett-Packard also has a recycling program. Check to see if the company that made your device has a take back program, as well.
So, the trash can is never an option when it comes to your outdated and broken electronics. There is always someone willing to take it off your hands.
Tomorrow, recycling options for mattresses.
Day 72 – I’m a member of a Facebook group called Chicago Environmentalists. It’s a great place where people share their ideas and suggestions on recycling, zero waste living and all things related to the environment. Lately, Best Buy has come up numerous times when suggesting places to recycle various items. I thought it would be helpful to share all the items that Best Buy recycles. If you don’t see it on the list, they don’t take it. To be sure, check out each category listed on the website for items they do not accept.
Before you recycle it, see if your item qualifies for the Best Buy Trade In Program or if it can be fixed by the Geek Squad Total Tech Support.
A note from Best Buy – Recycling is intended for residents only. Products from businesses and organizations, or items that present a health or safety hazard are not accepted.
Products they recycle for free (Limit 3 items per household per day)
- Alarm clocks
- Amps and effects
- Audio mixers / DJ turntables
- Battery backups
- Blu-Ray players
- Cables and connectors
- Camera lenses
- Camera memory cards
- Casette players
- CB radios / scanners
- Curling Irons
- CD/DVD Drives
- CD players / recorders
- Computer mice
- Computer speakers / controllers
- Desktop computers
- Digital cameras / SLR cameras
- Digital photo frames
- DirecTV set-top boxes/converters
- DVD players / in- dash overhead DVD player / Portable DVD player
- GPS / in-dash / outdoor / portable
- Hard drives
- Hair dryers
- Hair straighteners
- Headphones / handsfree headsets
- Heart monitors
- Home audio networking
- Home recording interfaces
- HTIB / soundbars / speakers
- Ink / toner cartridges – Recycle old ink cartridge and receive $2 savings on your next ink purchase of $40 or more, or recycle old toner cartridge and receive $2 savings on your next toner purchase of $100 or more.
- Internet TV set-top boxes/satellite receivers
- iPods / other MP3 players
- Keyboards (computer)
- Laptop batteries
- Modems / routers/ hubs
- Monitors – see below for fee related to monitor recycling
- Monitoring systems
- Phones / landline phones / mobile phones
- Portable gaming
- Portable LCD screens
- Portable media players
- Power inverter
- Printers / scanners / fax
- Radar detectors
- Receivers / boomboxes
- Satellite radio
- Security systems
- Sound / video cards
- Speaker systems
- Surge protectors
- TVs – see below for fee related to TV recycling
- TV antennas less than 3′ long
- Two-way radios
- Vacuums / stick vacuums / robot vacuums / upright canister vacuums
- Video game consoles
- Wall mounts
- Weather stations
- Web cams
- Wireless broadband
- Wiring harnesses and install kits
Products they recycle for a $29.99 fee per item (Limit two per household per day)
- Tube TVs smaller than 32″
- Flat-panel TVs: LCD, plasma, LED smaller than 50″
- Portable TVs
* There are no store drop-off fees in California. Stores in Connecticut and Pennsylvania do not accept TVs for drop-off.
Items they will haul away for $29.99 as long as you are having a replacement product delivered. If not replacing with new product the haul away fee is $99.99.
- Ice makers
- Ranges/stove and range hoods
- Wall ovens
With your help, Best Buy has collected more than 2 billion pounds of electronics and appliances for recycling, making them the largest retail collection program in the US.
Tomorrow, breaking down the 30×30 goal.