As fast as technology advances these days, it's awful easy to stock pile old cell phones, TVs and computers. But don't just throw them away! Americans toss about 2 million tons of "e-waste" each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Those heaps of electronics won't biodegrade anytime soon, plus they're leaching lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and other toxic elements into the environment, putting us at risk for nervous system and reproductive diseases.
Recycling Computers: If your computer is less than 5 years old and in working condition, consider donating it (and peripherals) to a non-profit organization like Rainforest Biodiversity Group. RBG will gladly take older, functioning laptops and give them to students or adults who need them in Costa Rica.
For more decrepit computers, call the store where you plan to purchase an upgrade. Many manufacturers, such as Dell and Apple, recycle their own brands for free.
For guaranteed recycling, Staples recycles any computer or printer, no matter what condition, for $10.
Cell Phones: Donate your cell phone to the Wireless Foundation's Call to Protect program (wirelessfoundation.org/calltoprotect for more info).
Other options: greenphone.com will purchase your phone and plant a tree for every phone it recycles!
Televisions: Sony will recycle any of its own televisions if you drop them at a designated site (www.sonystyle.com). Best Buy will haul away your old model if you purhase a new TV for home delivery at their store. When you buy one of Office Depot's "Tech Recyling Boxes" for $5, $10, or $15, the company recycles whatever you can fit inside (including TVs)
Visit earth911.org to find places near you that will accept old electronics to recycle.