How to recycle your gadgets after the holidays

Want to recycle your old tech? Here's how

The holidays are great for getting new gadgets, from new smartphones to 3-D TVs. But the gift-giving season is among the most wasteful periods of the year. Technology is a growing part of the problem -- the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that only about 10% of used mobile devices, for instance, are recycled each year.

So what can be done with your 32-inch television when you’ve upgraded to a 47-inch? Computers, monitors, televisions and other gadgets can’t be thrown out with wrapping paper and ribbon; it’s illegal to do so in California.

Below are a few convenient options for parting with old technology -- just be sure to remove personal data from your devices before you send them off:

Take it to Best Buy

Best Buy runs one of the most comprehensive electronics recycling programs in the nation. The company says it collects more than 400 pounds of products for recycling every minute their stores are open, regardless of which retailer the products were originally purchased from.

You can take old products such as rechargeable batteries and wires to recycling kiosks in-store, or hand off electronics to the customer service counter. If you buy a new product and have the company delivery it, Best Buy will remove appliances or TVs for free. For a fee, you can schedule a pickup with no product purchase.

The company accepts most electronics; those that can’t be refurbished or resold are recycled. With a goal of recycling 1 billion pounds of electronics by the end of this year, Best Buy would be happy to take that old laptop off your hands.

Let Gazelle reuse your devices

Gazelle pays for used gadgets and sells them to new customers. You find the item on a list on their site, answer a few questions about its condition and get an offer. If you accept, you choose how you would like to be paid (check, PayPal or Amazon gift card) and can ship your device to them for free.

Find a recycling location near you

CalReycle has an online database for California residents who want to find a recycling center participating in the state’s Covered Electronic Waste Recovery and Recycling Program. The website allows users to search for organizations by county. With more than 300 businesses posted in Los Angeles County alone, there are plenty of locations to choose from throughout the state.

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