After years of building up a stock of obsolete and broken down electronics, I decided it was time to find a responsible way to dispose of my former treasures. I had taken a few things to the Isabella County Recycling Center in the past, but they haven’t offered electronics recycling recently due to budget cuts.
The first option I found was eBay’s Instant Sale. This allows you to sell newer items that are still in good condition or recycle items that are no longer working or are just too old to have any value. eBay will even cover the shipping cost.
I used eBay’s service to recycle four old cell phones. The experience was really easy. I simply input all the details and printed out the provided shipping label. I packaged up the phones (including chargers, manuals, and other accessories) and shipped them off. I was notified when they arrived and I assume they have been recycled in a safe and responsible fashion.
Instant sale is great for some smaller items, but I had a bunch of stuff that didn’t easily fit into eBay’s categories. The remainder of my stock went to big box retailer Best Buy. I was pleasantly surprised to see the wide range of items accepted for recycling. They do not take hard drives, so I had to make sure all drives were removed from the computers I was recycling. (Of course, I had planned to remove them anyway. One can never be too careful with data.) I brought my old computer parts, cables, cd players, and other junk, loaded them up on a cart, and dropped them right off at the service desk at the Midland Best Buy store. The entire transaction took less than five minutes. I admit that I haven’t exactly shopped at Best Buy in about ten ears, but I might try to send some business their way to support this great recycling service.
Both services claim to use reputable recyclers. I have not done any research to verify these claims yet. For now, I decided to take them at their word. Some so-called recyclers of electronic waste actually just ship the items overseas where they wind up in landfills.
I also found out about GRC Recycling–a company that allows nonprofit organizations to collect and recycle cell phones to raise money.
I hope this post inspires everything to responsibly recycle their old electronics. I was happy to be rid of the clutter and feel confident that everything was disposed of in an environmentally sound way. For more information and updates, see PacDemon’s electronics recycling page.