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If you love to own the latest technology (or live with someone who does), chances are you have a stash of tech trash… old iPods, cell phone chargers, or maybe even a broken laptop infesting your closets. But before you throw your tech toys in the trash, why not see if you can get some cash back for them?
In 2005, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans dumped more than 2 million tons of old technology in dump sites, but only 380,000 tons were recycled. Traditionally, tech devices have been especially bad for the environment, leaving behind a hodgepodge of chemicals from mercury to lead.
Fortunately, companies are cropping up that specialize in recycling all this old technology. Escrap, one such recycler, pays businesses for their old electronics. While it’s not much, the money comes with an added bonus… feeling good about helping the environment.
Not a business? Don’t worry, you do have options.
Gazelle.com, a web site owned by a company called Second Rotation, allows you to quickly plug in the device you’d like to recycle, answer a few questions about its condition, and instantly receive an offer for the device. Mail it in to Gazelle and they’ll send you back a check, deposit money into a PayPal account, or even donate the cash directly to a charity of your choosing. So now there’s no excuse to simply throw away your old electronics.
But, depending on the device, you may receive more for your old tech with a tax receipt than a sale. Earth911.org maintains a list of organizations that recycle items for charitable causes. Just make sure to shop around, and you’ll be sure to get the most from your old electronics.