Electronics: Many donation and recycling options

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with as quickly as technology is advancing, it’s probably more like two to three years before your electronic device is outdated.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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. Best Buy
  2. Chicago Electronic Recycling Program
  3. Ecocell

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So, the trash can is never an option when it comes to your outdated and broken electronics.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.