Reading through Best Buy's E-cycle FAQ's, it sounds like the perfect place to drop off all your old electronics; even the old computer (with hard drive removed, of course.) But it seems like the last step to me.

What got me thinking about this was a broken down washing machine that was used for other useful ideas. The picture below is the before and what is left after he has taken what he needed for it.

I certainly don't have the creativity for that type of breakdown but if someone else does and then can recycle the left over bits and pieces. Why not?
[See washing machine drum grill]

Some recycling ideas for electronics that could be used:

1. Selling it -
Newer electronics (less than 5 years old) can still fetch some money. Check to make sure it is working as you will get more money. Always erase your hard drive data or remove the card in cell phones. Selling it on eBay, Craigslist or getting a gift card for it from some sites. (,

2. Swapping it -
Many times the item you have can be turned in for an upgraded version at a reduced price. Check with your friends and family to swap with them or use it as a bartering chip for something better.

3. Break it down -
Just like the man above, break down the item and save the screws, metal and little bits for some other project. If you have a large amount of electronics that can be sold for scrap metal and know how to get it out. Go for it.

4. Donate it -
If you can't break it down or swap it or get money for it, the next best thing would be to get a tax write-off by donating it to Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.

5. Give it away -
Don't care about a tax write-off, and it's working well. Give it away through sites like Freecycle, Reuseit Network and Craigslist. Sometimes old cell phones with dead batteries can be given to little children to play house with or take apart and "see how they work" projects.

6. E-Waste drop off -
Before you dump it in the trash, no matter it's age, check with the best buy e-cycling page to see if they take the item. As far as I can tell, they take everything free of charge except, "There is a charge of $10.00 for TVs 32" and under, CRTs and monitors in some areas which is offset by a $10.00 gift card." Some other sites to check out are ECycling Central, My Green Electronics and 1-800-RECYCLING
flickr/cc- bdunnette

One concern I have about E-waste is that it isn't properly disposed of, so check with the company to make sure they don't end up shipping the e-waste overseas(vid) or just dumping in a landfill. Best Buy states that they don't do this.

*I am not affiliated with Best Buy, just found their site to be of interest for personal use.


  1. Tim Gray // Wednesday, August 04, 2010 7:22:00 AM  

    Dont give little kids cellphones as toys.

    1 - they contain lots of toxic metals and paints.

    2 - if you leave in the battery they can call 911 on it and it WORKS. 911 is plagued with calls from kids who were given a old phone but has the card taken out.

    3 - dangers parts. screens are glass, batteries explode, etc.. They were not toys to begin with.

  2. Chris at // Wednesday, August 04, 2010 9:10:00 AM  

    When my 20 year old clothes dryer broke - I took it to a scrap metal recycling place and they paid me $7.20 for it.

  3. Research Term Papers // Monday, August 09, 2010 1:32:00 AM  

    This was some of the best information that I got from your blog.

  4. Chantelle // Wednesday, August 11, 2010 3:10:00 PM  

    For readers who live in Saskatchewan, Canada: Cellphones can be taken to SaskTel, where they are reused for those people who want a phone but cannot afford to be on a plan/pay $300+ for it. Computer monitors and TVs can be taken to Sarcan, where it will be recycled.

  5. Dawn // Wednesday, August 11, 2010 3:17:00 PM  

    @Chantelle - Thank you for including that.

  6. Squirrelers // Wednesday, August 11, 2010 5:18:00 PM  

    This post got me thinking about what to do with an old TV I have. It's about 15 years old, which isn't too bad, but not in the best working order. With TVs getting better and better every year, I'm not sure who would pay me much for this. I could go through Craigslist, but for expediency, maybe donating it would be the way to go.

    Thanks for getting me thinking about this!