How to Recycle Electronics and Gadgets

How to recycle electronics

Last Updated on October 25, 2020 by Markeyus Franks

With a major shift in technology over the past four decades, the number of electronics & gadgets in homes have  drastically increased. Nowadays it wouldn’t be a surprise to see no less that 15 major gadgets in any given home.  We have become a society addicted to technology, but with all these gadgets and gizmos how do we properly dispose of them when they malfunction or break? Surpingly many people just throw their gadgets or electronics away without even thinking about recyling them. Which bring us to the main question,  how do we recycle Electronics and Gadges properly.  You recycle electronics & gadgets by bringing them to the recycling company, sending them back to the manufacturers, or trade/donate your electronics.  The process is pretty easy but will require some effort on your part.  Let’s look a little deeper into how you can get this done.


Can I put old electronics in the trash can

If you have thrown away any major electronic device in the past year don’t worry you’re not the only one. Many people throw away broken and outdated gadgets every day, but it’s not recommended to just throw your electronics away. Many gadgets and electronics such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops contain lead, mercury, lithium, and other harmful toxins. These toxins can be harmful to the environment and can cause unwanted health conditions. So it’s definitely not advisable to throw your electronics in the trashcan, instead try to train yourself to see your old electronics as recyclable or better yet reusable.


Can I put electronics  in the recycling bin

Many people have a terrible misconception about recycling bins. They believe they can put anything in the recycling bin that is not perceived as trash.  This is not true and will cause more unnecessary work than not for a recycling company. As far as throwing electronics in the recycling bin,  It’s also not advisable to do this. Many recycling companies don’t have the equipment to process electronics and would have to ship them to a different center.

Here are three important steps to help you properly recycle your electronics.


  1. Bringing your electronics to a recycling company

    This is actually one of the best and most common options to take.  There are many recycling companies that would take your old gadgets and recycle them properly. here are a few major retail stores that will accept your devices to take

  • Best Buy
  • Office Depot
  • Staples

Surprisingly, these major electronic giants all have a recycling program that everyone can benefit from. Each will have their own unique way of handling your electronics, so make sure you read all rules and regulations before traveling to your nearest electronic store.  Bringing your electronics to a major electronics store is by far the easiest and fastest way to dispose of your used electronics.


  1. Send your electronics back to the manufacturers
    Many companies offer a way to send your used electronics back to them at no cost to you companies like apple and hp are big for this and will accept most of your their products back other companies partnered with what recycling programs and what have you or have you mail your gadgets backed through a specific program please no, that each state has different recycling rules and laws based on what you can send back through the mailbox.


  1. Trade or donate your gadgets you don’t use anymore often than not there are many gadgets use that are still operational either somebody trade it in for a better gadget or they just got tired of using it many trash cans and recycling bins are filled with electrons that are still operational so instead of dumping your electronics how about donating them are trading them for something you can use for example you can trade-in your old cell phone for something else on eBay or craigslist or are you can just donate it to someone who actually needs it needs it. Goodwill doors are always open. Here are some donating programs that you may want to consider:


What should I do before recycling electronics

If you’re wanting to recycle a computer, cell phone, or tablet then don’t forget to completely erase all personal data because the last thing you want is for someone to find a datasheet with all your personal information on it.  Here’s a quick guide to factory reset popular devices.

iPhone/Ipads- navigate to settings- > choose general –> select Reset all content and settings. You will be prompted to enter your iTunes ID.   This is the same on all iPhones and Ipads devices.

Samsung phone-Turn off device –> hold the volume up and hold button at the same time –> while pressing the hold and volume up button, press and hold the power button until you see a Recovery Booting phrase –> you will see a menu and in the menu  press wipe data/ factory reset

Windows computers-


Mac OS-


Where do recycled electronics go

Recycle electronics go to a designated recycling plant where they are shredded and broken down into small pieces, they are then sent through an advanced scanning system that separates the different type of metals. These metals are distributed back into the market nowadays is not unusual for a manufacturer to use recycled material

Here’s a quick video  from youtube to show you how it’s done


What items can I recycle

  • Bottles
  • cans
  • paper
  • Glass
  • Wine Bottle
  • Food containers
  • metals ( Aluminum, Tin)

Please note: These items may be different per state.


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