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How to recycle your old technology

NASA

Innovators seem to continually outdo themselves with new technology. 

Companies release improved versions of a device just when you thought no one could improve upon the previous incarnation -- adding every update they can think of to make our old technology keep working.

Show your used gadget the same attention its designers did.

Rather than add to landfills, you should investigate your many options to safely recycle this old technology.

Find a recycling center online
There are many different websites to help your track down recycling centers and programs. Earth911.com contains information about recycling, and has a search engine to locate recycling centers for almost everything. The site also provides the user-friendly iPhone and Android application iRecycle, which explains how and where to recycle almost any product. 

You can locate recycling centers near you, stay up to date on the latest recycling news and connect socially with other environmentally-friendly people. 1800Recycling.com also provides a search engine that allows you to find recycling centers near you. It also has many electronics recycling related articles. 

Recycles.org is a well-respected nonprofit recycling network. All Green Electronics Recycling is a full service electronics recycler that organizes pickups and drop-offs of recyclable equipment. The Environmental Protection Agency offers plenty of valuable information on how and where to recycle, as well.

Apple products
In keeping with the company’s products, Apple’s recycling program is simple and easy. You tell Apple about your old iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC. Apple hires PowerON, a leader in technological recycling, to estimate the fair market value of your product. PowerON will explain prepaid ways to ship your device to their facilities for official appraisal. Apple will then send you an Apple Gift Card if your gear has worth. If it doesn’t, your equipment will be recycled regardless. 

Apple also accepts old Mac batteries at their retail stores for recycling. Apple can also recycle any old computer of any brand for you through WeRecycle!, a leading eco-responsible organization.

Cell phones
Cell phones cause a great deal of waste if not disposed of correctly. Approximately one in three Americans replace their cellphones each year, leaving around 500 million unused or discarded phones. By donating your cellphone, you can improve the life of someone less fortunate and reduce your carbon footprint. 

ReCellular allows you to donate cellphones to other people. If the cellphone is damaged and unusable, ReCellular can recycle the materials for the creation of new phones. Another organization you can use is Cell Phones for Soldiers. They accept donations of gently used cellphones, which they transport to service men and women in all branches of the U.S. Military.

Erase your hard drive completely
Here is a final note of warning before recycling your computers or any other technology that may contain valuable information. Make sure you erase your hard drive completely before recycling your equipment. This is especially important if the device you are recycling carries sensitive information.

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