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Source: istock

How to Recycle Old Electronics, No Matter the Condition

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Whether it’s a fax machine, a TV, or a blender, getting a new appliance or piece of technology always feels so exciting. But now, the digital camera that once brought you so much joy just sits quietly in a desk drawer, overshadowed by your iPhone's camera lens; a broken toaster oven is in the garage collecting dust instead of crumbs; and about seven tangled pairs of airplane headphones are taking up space in random spots all over the house. The sensible thing to do would be to Marie Kondo your life and get those items out of the home — but if you’re trying to live a sustainable lifestyle, you’re probably wondering if there’s a way to recycle electronics.

Luckily, there are plenty of places that offer free electronic recycling, as well as many places that accept donations of electronics that still work. Just as important as being a conscious consumer is being responsible when getting rid of possessions — and that's especially important when it comes to electronics, considering the facts that e-waste makes up 2 percent of the trash in U.S. landfills and only 12.5 percent of e-waste gets recycled.

So read on for all the easiest and most responsible ways to recycle every possible electronic item you have sitting around your house.

How to Dispose of Old Electronics

The first question to ask yourself is: Is this item still usable? Maybe that hand mixer works perfectly but you just haven’t baked in a decade; perhaps you’re moving or are looking to declutter, so that clunky printer just doesn’t serve a purpose anymore; or maybe you got a new laptop and your old one just isn’t needed. If you genuinely think someone would still use the item, consider selling or donating it before you recycle it. And an important note: make sure to always perform a factory reset on computers and tablets before recycling or donating them.