Holiday Tip: 3 Options for Your Old Gadgets


Chances are good that if you’re reading this, there’s a consumer electronic gadget topping your holiday wish list. We love that — we do have “tech” in our name. But we also have “earth” in there, so we’re obliged to remind you to recycle those old cell phones, iPods or other devices instead of dumping them in the trash. Here are just a few ways to do it:

Sell It
Want to keep a little cash from your investment (the key word there being little)? Put it up for sale. BuyMyTronics will tell you what your old gizmo is worth and buy it from you — even if it’s broken. Or you can put your doohickey up for sale through eBay Rethink. You can sell your item yourself or enlist a service to sell it for you.

Donate it
Holiday cheer making you feel a little less stingy? Then give that gadget away to someone who can use it. can help connect you with agencies that want your stuff. If you’re in California, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas or Pennsylvania, Goodwill and Dell formed the Reconnect Partnership (they accept any brand of computer), with the resale of donated items funding Goodwill.

Recycle it
That device had a good life. But you wouldn’t foist that 2nd gen, monochrome iPod on your worst enemy. It’s time to take it out back like Ole Yeller and put it out of its misery (in a green way, of course). Collective Good does mobile phone recycling. can help you find a local electronics recycler. Or check out the manufacturer’s recycling program. The EPA has a listing of corporate recycling programs from Apple, Sony, Toshiba and others. (The EPA has a pretty exhaustive listing of how to “ecycle.”)


Marilyn Terrell

Thanks for mentioning CollectiveGood as a place that will recycle cell phones responsibly. The January issue of National Geographic (where I work) has a story about the growing problem of electronic waste, and what happens to your old tv or computer when you try to recycle it: in many cases, the discarded equipment is exported to places like Ghana where it sits in huge toxic piles and gets picked over by children who try to extract the precious metals:

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