If you got any gadgets like a new phone or computer for Christmas, you may be looking for a way to dispose of the old stuff. There are some options that beat the garage or the trash dumpster.
A new cell phone was likely on many wish lists this Christmas. "I've been asking for it, and I got it, so I was pretty happy," says Ashley Burks.
Burks, like others, is now ready to bid farewell to her old phone. "I don't have a home button, and I don't even have a volume button," Burks says.
You could throw it in the trash, let it collect dust, or this: "What I'm probably going to do is this weekend, take it out, and I'm probably going to go shoot it with a shotgun," Burks says.
But at Wireless Trendz, recycling and fixing up phones to resell are their specialties. "Just bring your old phone in. We'll look it over, give you a price based on the condition of the phone," says Jason Mohler, owner of Wireless Trendz. Mohler says the store will offer anywhere from $5 to $400.
It could help someone, like Michael Heffernon, find an affordable upgrade before his contract provides one. "My phone screen's cracked, and I'm just debating on getting a new phone or fixing this one," says Heffernon.
They'll pay cash for old phones, tablets, laptops and game systems too. Even if they're in terrible condition, they'll take them off your hands. "The metals that are in the phone, a lot of it is not biodegradable, so it will just sit there and can contaminate the soil," says Mohler.
At Complete Electronics Recycling, they'll take pretty much anything that plugs in, and even pay for some. "VCRs, DVD players, cell phones, quite a few items, really," says David Kramer, owner of Complete Electronics Recycling.
If you got a new computer for Christmas, you can bring them the old one; they'll actually give you a couple of bucks for your old computer tower and recycle it, including those parts that would be harmful for the environment.
Kramer says, "The electronics that get thrown away, although it's a very small portion of what's in the landfill, about 3%, it makes up about 40% of the lead and other heavy metals in our landfills. So it's very important because of the toxins they contain, to get those recycled."
If you'd like to donate your old devices, Springfield's domestic violence shelter, Harmony House, can use old cell phones for the women they take in, and they can also benefit from other recyclable electronics.
Visit links here for: