You Can Recycle Your Old Phones, Laptops, Batteries and Cameras for Free. Here's How

New telephones, tablets, laptops come out yearly. You improve your tech, and your previous machine is retired to your in-home gadget graveyard. You most likely have a drawer stuffed with previous batteries and cables, and a few old phones, laptops and desktops mendacity round, relying on how regularly you improve your gear. 

All of us hold onto outdated tech for our personal causes — I nonetheless have my first Nokia block phone tucked away for nostalgia’s sake. There are additionally a number of methods to repurpose old devices to your smart home, utilizing them as security cameras and extra.

Regardless of the tech, when it is lastly time to say goodbye, there is a proper technique to get rid of your previous devices — and there are loads of incorrect methods. We’ll present you which of them is which.

What to do earlier than you do away with a tool

Once you’re completed with a gadget, be sure it is also completed with you. Be certain that to again up something you need off the machine — pictures, movies, songs — after which carry out a manufacturing facility reset. Listed here are a few CNET articles to assist make clear the finer factors of wiping a tool:

Listed here are one of the best locations to recycle, repurpose or give new life to your previous know-how: 

Smartphone Recycling 

Smartphone Recycling permits you to print a free FedEx transport label or request a recycling package. Ship your previous smartphone and you might even get paid, relying on the machine’s situation and age. Smartphone Recycling accepts units in bulk, so you must ship a minimal of 10. Relying on how lengthy you’ve got been hoarding telephones, you may meet this quota by yourself. If not, verify with family and friends and make it a gaggle effort.

If you happen to succumbed to the siren track of the latest gadget, even when your present machine wasn’t on its final leg, we’re not right here to evaluate.

Woot/Screenshot by CNET

What you may recycle: 

Smartphone Recycling accepts smartphones, cell telephones, MacBooks, tablets, iPhones, iPads, iPods and Apple Watches, in addition to batteries connected or put in in units.

Greatest Purchase 

Best Buy accepts a wide range of tech products and customarily takes three objects per home per day. Specifics might differ relying on the place you reside, however you may verify with the state-specific recycling data dropdown menu on the positioning.

Greatest Purchase additionally presents a haul-away possibility for bigger home equipment like TVs, dishwashers, freezers, microwaves, treadmills and train bikes. If you happen to’ve ordered a brand new product, Greatest Purchase will take away your old one for recycling. There’s additionally a stand-alone haul-away option that prices $200. You possibly can have two large items hauled away as well as an unlimited number of smaller items, with some exceptions. 

What you may recycle:

Greatest Purchase can take TVs, cables and chargers, media gamers, projectors, laptops, laborious drives, webcams, cellphones, calculators, radios, landlines, headsets, vacuums, followers, ink and toner cartridges, alarm clocks, speaker techniques, e-readers, online game consoles, reminiscence playing cards, camcorders, digital cameras, GPS units and extra. 

Four Amazon Fire HD 8 tablets in different colors

If you happen to do not need to recycle your pill, there are locations to donate know-how. 



Workplace provide retailer Staples additionally presents free recycling choices for previous know-how. Staples accepts as much as seven objects per buyer per day. The corporate additionally has varied haul-away options, driver pickup and pallet pickup, as well as prepaid address labels accessible. 

What you may recycle:

Staples can recycle equipment, adapters, cables, computer systems, cordless and cellphones, digital cameras, laptops, routers, tablets, webcams, ink and toner and different workplace tech objects. 

House Depot

House Depot has an explainer on its web site about how one can safely get rid of lifeless batteries, previous paint, electronics and different objects, in addition to ideas for upcycling and repurposing. In response to, the companies are drop-off just for residential clients.

What you may recycle:

In response to, House Depot accepts family alkaline batteries (AA, AAA, C, D, 9V), lithium-ion batteries, nickel-cadmium batteries, rechargeable family batteries, cell telephones and LED gentle bulbs.  

US Environmental Safety Company

The EPA would not deal with recycling and drop-offs the identical means different companies do, but it surely does have a helpful information that makes it simpler to get the data you want. The EPA’s directory breaks down donation and recycling by digital machine, firm title, brand and any extra particulars.

What you may recycle: 

Once more, the EPA’s listing hyperlinks you out to particular corporations and their insurance policies, however in accordance with the record, you may recycle and donate cell units, PCs and TVs in addition to imaging tools and provides. 

Electronics Take-Again Coalition 

Just like the EPA, Electronics Take-Back Coalition makes it simple to seek out producer take-back packages within the US. You possibly can browse over 25 corporations’ take-back program summaries, together with Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic, Sony and extra. 

The Electronics Take-back Coalition would not deal with the recycling, however it may direct you to the correct useful resource to your wants.

What you may recycle:

Relying on the corporate, you’ll find locations to show in iPhones, iPads, smartphones, screens, computer systems, printers, keyboards, mice, DVD and VHS gamers, cameras, TVs and extra.

An Acer Chromebook open on a table

Your laptop computer may be recycled, donated or repurposed. We’ll let you know the place to look.

Josh Goldman/CNET


EcoATM offers you a price estimate for your old phone you can lock in on the cell app utilizing your previous machine’s IMEI quantity. EcoATM will ask a couple of questions on your machine like model, mannequin, reminiscence, provider and situation earlier than producing a quote. From there, you may visit one of the organization’s kiosks, positioned at shops like Kroger, Walmart and Greenback Common. 

What you may recycle: 

EcoATM can assist with iPhones, Samsung smartphones, tablets and MP3 gamers, Google Pixel telephones, LG telephones and tablets, Motorola telephones and ZTE telephones. You too can recycle chargers and mobile equipment like instances, however you will not be paid for them.


Earth911 permits you to search by machine and ZIP code to seek out applicable close by places to show in previous telephones. Once you go to the group’s web site, click on The place to Recycle on the prime of the web page to get began. Earth911 works with well-known companies like Lowe’s and Goal, in addition to native waste and recycling facilities. 

What you may recycle

Earth911 helps you discover places to recycle, however it’ll additionally observe the supplies the situation accepts, whether or not it permits drop-off or pickup for residential or companies, in addition to any extra data. 

Recycling for Charities

Recycling for Charities accepts know-how donations, however offers a proportion of the machine’s worth to the charity of your selecting. Scroll by a directory of charities, choose one, enter the required data and click on donate. Charities obtain anyplace between 25 cents and $100 out of your objects. 

What you may recycle:

Wi-fi cell telephones and corresponding batteries, iPhones, wi-fi pagers, digital cameras, iPods, PDAs and Palm Pilots. 


Call2Recycle is a battery-focused recycling program. The group presents drop-off options at places like House Depot, Lowe’s and Staples, in addition to shipment boxes for batteries and cell telephones. Drop-offs are free, however recycling kits and cargo containers value between $45 and $115, relying on the scale.

What you may recycle:

Rechargeable batteries like Nickel Cadmium, Nickel Metallic Hydride, Lithium Ion, Nickel Zinc and Small Sealed Lead Acid weighing as much as 11 kilos. Call2Recycle additionally accepts single-use batteries like AA, AAA, 9V, C, D and button cell batteries weighing as much as 11 kilos. The group additionally accepts cell phones and their corresponding batteries no matter measurement, make, mannequin or age. 

For extra data, try 5 issues you may recycle (and 5 issues you may’t) and the right way to recycle plastic and the dos and don’ts of recycling metal cans.

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