Did you get blessed with some new electronics this year? From cell phones to televisions, from ink cartridges to batteries, here is what to do with all of that old stuff. Hint: some of these items are considered hazardous waste and should not be thrown away in the regular trash. Materials can leach from the components and becfome toxic.
Return used ink cartridges to office supply stores. Many of these stores have bins in which you can drop the cartridges. Some stores, such as Staples, will actually pay you in a certificate or gift card to the store for as much as $10 a cartridge. You can ask the store for a special bag to collect your used cartridges, and then bring them to the customer service desk.
Cell phones can be gifted to organizations that will refurbish them and supply them to people in need, such as women who are suffering from domestic abuse and may need to use them to call 911. Other organizations will take the phones apart recycle the various components safely. Look for drop off points at electronic stores, community centers and town halls. Or, check out the website call2recycle.or to find out where you can drop off your cell phones.
Rechargeable batteries can also be recycled using one of the locations you can find at call2recycle.org. Many towns and communities offer drop off points or special pick up days for hazardous materials, which include rechargeable batteries, both the standard sizes you might use for digital cameras and other electronics, to laptop batteries. Regular alkaline batteries are not recycled at this time. I only found this out last year, after many failed attempted to get someone to take the buck load of alkaline batteries that we had religiously saved to recycle. All of those electronic toys certainly generate a lot of waste.
Mary Ann Romans writes about everything related to saving money in the Frugal Blog, technology in the Computing Blog, and creating a home in the Home Blog. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.