Are you getting a phone upgrade this holiday season? Don’t toss your old one in the trash! Many electronics contain heavy metals that are toxic and don’t belong in landfills, according to SaveOnEnergy. While curbside recycling is more widely available than ever, there are still some items that can’t be recycled curbside or at a typical municipal facility. These popular retail locations will properly recycle your old electronics and appliances for free. Be sure to contact your local store for a list of accepted recyclable items. In-store recycling helps you get rid of your old electronics and helps eliminate toxic landfill waste. It’s a win-win.
Best Buy takes almost any old electronics off your hands. Bring in your old cellphones, MP3 players, cables, and any desktop or laptop computers. Did you upgrade from DVD to Blu-ray? You can recycle your old DVD players at Best Buy. The chain even takes small fans and vacuums. You can bring in small TVs and monitors, but for larger items such as washers, dryers, microwaves, and TVs larger than 32″, use the Best Buy haul-away or pickup programs. Don’t take your old refrigerators or mini-refrigerators to Best Buy either. Those items contain refrigerants, and you should contact your local utility or waste department when you’re ready to get rid of them.
The Home Depot
The Home Depot encourages customers to switch from incandescent lights to LED Christmas lights with a trade-in event each November. Customers can bring in their old strands of lights and receive coupons for LED lights. In 2014, customers recycled more than 181,000 strands of Christmas lights, which is the equivalent of recycling almost 7 million plastic water bottles. The Home Depot also recycles used CFL light bulbs. These bulbs last 10,000 hours on average, but if yours have hit their limit, don’t throw them away. They contain mercury, which can leak into the soil or groundwater supply. You can also bring rechargeable batteries in and The Home Depot will recycle them for you.
Staples recycles your old office supplies regardless of their brand or current condition. Bring your old eReaders, shredders, external hard drives and computer peripherals there for recycling. Staples also accepts rechargeable batteries if they are 11 pounds or less, but doesn’t accept alkaline or lithium batteries. Customers can recycle empty ink and toner cartridges online or at a Staples store. If thrown away, ink cartridges can last more than 1,000 years, and the ink can leak into the soil and water. What doesn’t Staples recycle for you? Light bulbs, lamps or televisions.
Target ranked first in the top 10 most ENERGY STAR certified retail stores in the U.S. for good reasons. Since 2010, Target’s storefront recycling kiosks have made recycling easy and free for shoppers. Bring your cans, glass, plastic bottles, ink cartridges, MP3 players and cellphones to Target for a simple drop off. Since the in-store recycling program started, Target has collected more than 27 tons of electronics. Customers can also recycle plastic bags at Target, but we recommend bringing a reusable bag to do your shopping in the first place.
Customers at Lowe’s can have a green thumb and be green. Since Lowe’s has a garden center, it accepts plant trays, pots and tags for recycling at all locations. Customers can also bring in old wood pallets and cardboard. In 2010, Lowe’s stores recycled nearly 1 billion pounds of wood pallets and cardboard. Shopping for a new home appliance? With the purchase of a new appliance, Lowe’s will also haul away and recycle your old appliance for free.