How to recycle computers, phones and electronics


Discarded ElectronicsTechnology brings information and convenience to our doorsteps. Unfortunately when it’s time for an upgrade we’re left with a pile of e-waste. Computers, TV’s and cell phones contain hazardous components and should not be sent to the landfill. Try these recycling options instead.

For TV & Computer:
Earth 911 is an excellent national resource for recycling computers and a wide range of other items. Simply enter your zip code and the item you want to recycle.

Computer Renaissance has a buy/sell or trade policy for computers.

National Cristina Foundation accepts computer donations in all 50 states. It then matches the donation to area schools or non-profits. The goal is to help people with disabilities, youth at risk and the economically disadvantaged.

For Cell phones:
Best Buy provides drop boxes for e-waste in their entryways. They also take inkjet cartridges & rechargeable batteries.

The Call2Recycle program provides lists of drop off locations. Here are a few: Office Depot, Radio Shack and Target.

Some manufacturers take back used phones. Here are three that do: Kyocera, Motorola & Nokia.


33 thoughts on “How to recycle computers, phones and electronics

  • August 2, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    Don’t forget to call your local women’s shelter! They take working cell phones for battered women to have a lifeline in case of need. I love doing this because it’s less clutter for me & I’m helping someone in need!

  • August 2, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    This is good information. We have a bunch of things like this in our “messy room” that I am going to start cleaning out next week. It’s good to know where to take that kind of stuff instead of just throwing it away.

  • August 8, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    Also, remember that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Join your local group at Freecycle ( or the ReUseIt Network ( You can then post your miscellaneous items that you would like to give away (functioning or not) and see if someone can use it. I have been amazed to see what other people are excited to reuse! It is so nice to give these items a second life!

  • August 9, 2007 at 9:43 am

    I love the idea of sending old cell phones to a women’s shelter. I talked to a Sprint rep and she said that even without a service plan, if the phone is kept charged, you’ll always be able to make a 911 call.

    As Wendy said Freecycle is a great resource (for more than just electronics).

    Here are a few more options for getting rid of cartridges:

    The post office offers free plastic envelopes that are preaddressed and include prepaid postage. Just slip the cartridge in the bag and drop it in the mailbox.

    Office Max will exchange one ream of recycled paper for each Dell, HP or Lexmark cartridge you bring in.

    Office Depot will take Konica Minolta toner cartridges and give a $3. store credit to anyone with a service contract.
    Refill your cartridges up to four times (unless the warranty advises against it .)
    Staples and Dell are two companies that will refill them. It saves up to 90% of the cost of new.

  • August 21, 2007 at 11:48 am

    I just read this in Hints from Heloise:

    Call to Protect is a non-profit organization which refurbishes phones and donates them to survivors of domestic violence. The refurbished phones can only call 911 or domestic violence shelters.

  • January 23, 2009 at 3:37 am

    For UK readers – Vodafone will take your own mobiles off you, recycle them and donate money to charity for every one you hand in. Now go and hunt down that old handset stuck at the back of your drawer… 😉

  • March 11, 2009 at 5:34 am

    To few people recycle there old gadgets, fortunately it is becoming easier as more place recycle

    The Recycling Appeal UK collects mobile phones, PDAs and printer cartridges

  • April 10, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    This is nice information. We have a group of things like this in our “messy room” that I am going to start clear out next week. It’s very nice to know where to bring that kind of stuff instead of just throwing it away.

  • July 3, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    I usually keep old computers cus I’m weird like that, and prefer to use them for random stuff. But the other tips for recycling are very helpful, thanks! (I actually have an old tv sitting in my basement that I wasn’t sure what to do with, heh).

  • October 21, 2009 at 7:54 am

    A very useful article…There are lots of things at home that can be recycled. Thanks!

  • January 30, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Every man has in himself a continent of undiscovered character. Happy is he who acts as the Columbus to his own soul.

  • February 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Thank you for this posting. Recycling is good. Vingino!

  • April 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Nice post!Just thinking,how far the evolution for mobile phones can go?We will see!

  • April 19, 2010 at 6:03 am

    It’s surprising how easy it is to find friends and family members who would like to have your old phone even ones that are several years old. My friend took one of mine to use while in the garden (she loves gardening) as she didn’t want to get her normal phone dirty or damaged when she was digging, etc.

  • July 17, 2010 at 12:35 am

    i still remember i will always threw them into trash can…..

  • July 17, 2010 at 3:24 am

    everybody should do it!
    lets go green.

    thanks for the links.

  • July 28, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Recycling brings small financial rewards also. Companies have realized that giving cash back for recycling will encourage people to recycling old phones and other things that can be recycled.

  • August 26, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I know computer monitors make great boat anchors, LOL Just kidding Recycling is a huge must in this day and age. Good post keep up the good work and keep those recycling links coming

  • August 27, 2010 at 7:58 am

    HA! There a lot of things I can think of that would make good boat anchors! Thanks for the comment, Kenny!

  • September 1, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Glad we could help, Jonas! Thanks for stopping by!

  • September 1, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Awesome post! Thanks for showing me how to do this, I really appreciate this, I was looking for this everywhere.

  • September 24, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Considering the ammount of electricals we use every year its fantastic to see a lot of options for reusing and recycling these items. Even a skip hire company near me now offer full recycling including electricals, reducing your costs as there is much less landfill tax

  • October 2, 2010 at 8:20 am

    as new type of products appear on market, there are new ways to dispose those used products.
    donating to someone who would need them it’s the best thing someone could do with e-trash.
    if used products are just broken , then put them into a recycle trash can.

  • October 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Saving energy and the planet as a whole can only be a collective effort.

    phone companies are giving recycling incentives with model upgrades or cash. as long as there is incentive people will do more recycling.

    author of Samsung UN46C7000 and Samsung 55 Inch 3D TV

  • December 21, 2010 at 3:44 am

    hahahahahahaha… very encouraged to find this site. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. I added a Trackback to it on my site:D

  • June 12, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Wow, I really didn’t know how phones and computers are recycled…thanks.

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