Electronic devices have become a part of our lives, homes, and offices: computers, laptops, tablets, printers, scanners, fax machines, monitors, printers, TVs, cell phones, hard drives, cords and cables, stereos, radios, etc. As old equipment gets upgraded, recycling electronics is an important way to reduce and minimize the environmental impact of electronic waste. Electronics contain a variety of materials, many of which are hazardous if not disposed of properly. Proper recycling of electronics can help recover valuable resources, as well as protect our environment and water tables from toxic materials. 

 IMPORTANT NOTE: Before recycling your electronics, be sure to wipe any personal information (files, passwords, bookmarks, etc.) from the device and remove any batteries, which should be recycled separately. After backing up your files and information, reset the device back to factory from the device settings in order to protect your identity. 

 These are some ways to responsibly recycle old electronics:  

  1. Donate: If the device still works, donate it to a charitable organization for resale and reuse. 

  1. Staples Partnership with HP:    You can recycle up to 6 devices a day at your local Staples store that has partnered with HP. Staples will accept most electronics listed on the website above (not CRT monitors, TVs, and stereos). They also pay $2 to recycle printer ink and toner cartridges, if you purchase your ink from them. They have a special box for dropping off batteries. 

  1. Best Buy Recycle :  You can recycle up to 3 devices a day at Best Buy stores for free, including desktops and towers, laptops and tablets, Fflat screen monitors and displays, printers and scanners, cell phones, and small electronics, TV and home theater, audio devices.   

  1. Cell Phones: Walmart has partnered with ecoATM to take back old cell phones and give you cash.  First charge your phone, back up your info, and remove the memory card.  Your cell phone carrier may take back your old cell phone also. 

  1. Local eSteward Recyclers:    Approved electronics recyclers erase or destroy hard drives and memory-containing devices, then break down the devices to recover reusable or recyclable components. 

  1. CRT Monitors and TVs: As CRT devices get replaced with lighter weight flat screen monitors and TVs, there is no market for heavy CRT devices. They are not being accepted by stores or goodwill.  They may be placed at the curb beside your regular trash (assuming you can even lift them) and the waste hauler will pick them up the next day with an electronics truck.  You may also take them to the 6441 Topaz Court solid waste facility in Fort Myers.   

One other thing you can do to reduce both your utility bill and greenhouse emissions: is to turn off lights and electronics when not using them, switch to energy-efficient LED light bulbs, and use a programmable thermostat to control your home’s heating and cooling.  

 I am committed to protecting your computers at an affordable price. Thank you for trusting me to keep your computers healthy. Contact us at 239-567-0104 when it is time to discuss joining our Learn Computer 101 training program, renewing your protection software, or scheduling computer and internet help. 

 Be well. 

 By Linda Lindquist,  April 17, 2023