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The best way to recycle your old phone, laptop, TV and batteries without harming the environment

Appliances can stack up over the years – just look at your drawers, garage or a dark corner of your wardrobe.

If you're not a self-disciplined cleaning guru like Marie Kondo, chances are you've been kept on batteries, cables, and older appliances for nostalgic reasons, or because you thought you might be able to use it along the line.

Leave technical museum to someone else. You have better things to do than let dust collect on the cracked old laptop, the old flip phone or a camera that you thought you would save for your kids one day. Regardless of the technology, when it's finally time to say goodbye, there is a right way to manage your old gadgets and many wrong ways. We will help you.

Why can't I just throw away my old devices and batteries?

If your electronics end up in a landfill, they not only leave pipes and plastic (which is a big problem in itself). If dumped or improperly disposed of, e-waste can harm you and the environment.

Most electronics contain toxic materials such as lead, flame retardant and chromium. These materials can cause damage to human kidneys, blood and nervous systems, Ilene Lubell, chairman of Mayer Metals Corporation, who recovers old electronics for business, wrote in a blog post.

  A large olheap of smartphones.

Never throw old phones in the trash.

Josh Miller / CNET

When electronics are dumped or discarded improperly, these toxins can leak into landfill, groundwater and evaporate to the atmosphere upon heating, according to Lubell.

There are a number of environmentally friendly ways to dispose of your old electronics that can potentially help people in need or in investigated communities. It is important to note that the discarding protocol may differ from one unit to another.

Behind the scenes, units are recycled, renovated or redistributed. Sometimes they are reduced to parts, or melted down to extract the rare earth materials within. Apple's Recycling Lab in Texas uses robots to dismantle iPhones ($ 1,000 on Amazon) at a rate of 200 units per hour.

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Okay, I'm sold. What should I do before I turn off my device?

When you're done with batteries or a gadget, make sure it's also done with you. Although it may be old, someone just needs a charger to restart your old phone or computer to access your personal data.

Moral of this story: Make sure to back up everything you want from the device – photos, videos, songs, etc. and then make a factory reset – don't worry, we'll give you tips on wiping your device in the sections on phones, laptops and cameras below.

All the Dead Batteries

There are a few ways that you can handle the individual and rechargeable batteries such as AA, AAA and D cells batteries that are common in flashlights, toys and other household electronics.

Best Buy, Whole Foods, Home Depot, Lowes and Staples all have free shut-off sites to take dead batteries out of your hands. We suggest that you collect your used batteries in a container and take them in when they are full.

You can also check Earth911, a site that will help you find the nearest recycling site based on the type of battery you need to dispose of (eg alkaline, button cell, lithium, zinc air, etc.). Call2Recycle can also help you find places to recycle the batteries. . (Large) _1.JPG “/>

E-waste can have a second life after professional recycling companies extract copper and other valuable materials.

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[19659000] Recycling of phones

Smartphones and their batteries are one of the easiest electronics to recycle according to Call2Recycle

Remember to transfer data and photos on your old phone to a new phone or otherwise save your photos before you do a factory reset. Remember to remove the SIM card if it remains.

The company accepts all phones and batteries regardless of size, make, model or age. Call2Recycle can renovate the unit for resale or recycle the material to a new device. If you look hard enough, you can even get paid for recycling your phone.

If your phone is new enough, you may be able to trade it to an operator if you buy a new phone or sell it on the open market. Otherwise, if it's lost a lot of value, recycling can be your best bet on getting a dusty phone out of your hands.

Read : How to sell or recover your phone for cash

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Cables are fair games as well.

Taylor Martin / CNET

Best Buy accepts three phones per household per day, Lowes has recycling centers in all locations, Home Depot takes mobile phones up to 11 pounds and Staples also takes phones.

Hela Foods works with Secure Call to get 911 necessary phones for pensioners and domestic violence. Just make sure you bring the charger.

You can also donate your gently used phones to cell phones for soldiers. The program helps troops to call their families at home for free. Local communities can also take donations as part of a city operation.

We also suggest that you check with your employer to see how it handles e-waste. You may add some items to the collection.

Recycling of laptops easily

Before scrapping your old computer, ask yourself if it is still useful. If it is less than five years old, chances are that someone else can use it, according to TechSoup. Newer laptops can go to local non-profit organizations or libraries after being refurbished. You can find a program via Microsoft's Registered Refurbisher directory.

If the device is too old or in shape to donate, you can recycle it. Once again, our friends on Earth911 make it easy: just search for "laptop" and enter your zip code to find the nearest drop-off point. Dell's Goodwill Reconnect program also accepts old and broken hardware.

Make sure the program you leave your old hardware with is considered on the EPA's Certified Electronics Recyclers website and feels free to reach out to refurbisher or recycler to double check.

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Newer laptops provide good donations. Just remember to dry the units first.

Sarah Tew / CNET

When you bring the laptop with you, remember all the candies that came with it – keyboard, mouse, printer, modem, and any software. Usually, refurbishers can repackage all this. Just remember to dry your data first!

In addition, donation of your laptop can get you a tax break. Keep track of what you donated just in case. You can learn more about the Sage BlueBook or section 170 of the Federal Income Tax Code if you feel particularly ambitious.

Chargers and wires can also be recycled

If you are like my husband, and you keep boxes on drawers, chargers and cables in your basement (only if you ever need one), it may be time to let go. The type of thread you have lied to may be worth something. You can apply for Capital Scrap Metal at prices. For example, on April 19, copper goes for $ 2.45 per pound.

You can also drop your cables at Best Buy, Staples and other locations. Chargers can also be reset. Sometimes if a lead stops working with a device, you may be able to work with another. Economical!

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Otherwise, make sure you donate your old cables, cables, chargers and cables to local STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Google STEM, National Center for Electronics Recycling, or Earth911.

Yes, you should recycle your old camera

If you still keep camera cameras from the early 2000s, we have some places that take them off your hands.

Best Buy and Home Depot accepts cameras and camcorders. Lowes also takes cameras. And of course, the Earth911 and Call2Recycle options are the breadth of your used electronics.

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Large TVs can seem like a pain to donate, but you can find a service, like Best Buy, to pick it up to $ 20. Consider a donation to the environment.

Sarah Tew / CNET

TV recovery is possible

TVs are bigger electronics, so it can take a little more elbow fat to get the job done, but don't let it scare you. As with the donation and recycling of phones and laptops, there are some things you need to know about getting rid of your old TV. If the device still works, consider donating it to a used store.

If you can reset it to factory settings, smart TVs that are likely to contain personal information. Disconnect everything, the cable tie is secure and tie them to the unit. Use a dolly and be careful when moving TV: the potentially toxic materials in the TV can drop into your house if you drop it.

A Google search will show you a number of local recycling and donation centers that accept larger electronics. Best buy, for example, picks up two TVs per house per day for $ 20 if you get a new set – Tube TVs less than 32 inches, portable televisions and flat screens, LCDs, LEDs and plasma less than 50 inch. Freestanding pickup is $ 100. You can also drop your TV in the shop – three TVs (with accessories) per household per day.

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Originally posted April 20 at 4:00 pm PT.

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