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Old electronics can be recycled through retailers and manufacturers

by Kelly MacNeil on April 18, 2011

New models of computers and other electronics appear every year and sometimes even multiple times per year. The iPad and other Apple products are spawning new generations every few months. What can one do with one's old computers and other electronics? There are multiple ways that used computers can be recycled, through either retailers or local recycling programs.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of manufacturers and retailers who offer programs that take back old computers, electronics, cell phones and other devices.

AT&T, for example, has a Reuse and Recycle Program that even takes old cell phones made by companies other than AT&T or whose original carrier was not AT&T. One can check the online store locator for AT&T to find a retailer offering the Reuse and Recycle Program in one's neighborhood.

Other manufacturers that have some kind of a recycling or take-back program include LG Electronics, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, Toshiba and Sony. In fact, so many manufacturers are willing to receive their old products back that one has no reason to discard an old computer or cell phone in the trash, simply because a newer model has arrived.

Nokia's recycling program even offers a free mail-in service with shipping labels available online for no cost.

According to its website, Sprint has a BuyBack Program that offers credits towards new purchases. Many charities such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America benefit from Sprint's BuyBack Program.

Stores that have recycling programs include Staples, Office Depot and Best Buy.

Similar to other trade-in programs, Best Buy has a Tech Trade-In where recycling is free and can sometimes lead to a Best Buy gift card.

The next time one is unsure about what to do with an old cell phone, computer or even phone card, check online for retail and manufacturer recycling programs. Recycling is often much easier than one might expect and in some cases, there are definite financial rewards to doing something good for the environment.

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