Recycle Your Electronic Waste & Earn Rewards

Advances in technology happen at an astounding rate. In fact, according to Moore’s Law, the processing power of computers doubles every two years! While this is great news for the breakthroughs in knowledge, new things that we can experience, and personal convenience, it also comes at a cost — our technology seems outdated rather quickly.

Global competition has made it cheap and easy to purchase new electronics — often this is long before the old electronics stop working. These old electronics not only contain plastics and metals that can be easily recycled, but also hazardous waste that needs to be kept out of landfills and the environment.

Vintage Electronic Radios on Shelf

Vintage Electronic Radios on Shelf

Fortunately, many of the top electronics brands have programs to incentivize recycling! Learn more below about how to recycle your electronics and earn discounts, gift cards, and loyalty points while responsibly disposing of these toxic materials.

Recycle Old Electronics to Earn Rewards!

These programs make it easy to recycle by offering rewards when you give back your old electronics.

1. Apple

Trade your qualifying old device for credit towards your next purchase. If your old computer, tablet, phone, watch or other device has value, you will receive an Apple Store gift card. Even if your device isn’t eligible for store credit, they will wipe your data and safely recycle it for you for free.

Plus remember that students also get special pricing at the Apple store.

2. Amazon.com

The Amazon Trade-In program allows customers to receive an Amazon.com Gift Card in exchange for thousands of eligible items. Items that qualify for trade-in are updated often and include Amazon Devices, electronics, books, and video games.

The process is easy and convenient — you’ll get an immediate offer plus free shipping!

3. AT&T

Trade in select mobile devices (phones, tablets, and smart watches) for an AT&T promotion card or immediate trade-in value!

4. Advance Auto Parts

Bring in your unwanted automobile, golf, marine, or light truck battery to any Advance Auto Parts location and receive a $10 store gift card. See website for full details and exclusions.

5. Best Buy

Best Buy Electronics Waste Recycling Program

Best Buy Electronics Waste Recycling Program

Best Buy offers electronics recycling all U.S. stores (including those in Puerto Rico) on products including TV’s, computers, tablets. cell phones, appliances, audio, home, music, video games, cameras, car audio, GPS, video, and more. Check online for more details. Additionally, you can get discounts or a gift card when you trade-in certain items:

  • Trade-in select old electronics items to earn a Best Buy gift card: use the website to learn the value of your trade-in before you bring it in!
  • Get 15% off a new HP inkjet printer when you bring in any used printer for recycling: return your old printer to Customer Service in a Best Buy store, and you’ll receive a receipt coupon for 15% off the current price of an HP inkjet printer
  • Recycle your networking devices and get a coupon for 15% off:. receive a coupon for 15% off a networking device when you recycle a modem, router or modem/router combo

Even if your old tech has no current trade in value, they will still recycle it for you. Learn more about Best Buy’s recycling program.

For large items that are not easy to bring in to a store, you may want to consider using Best Buy’s haul away service for TV’s and appliances. Note that there is a fee for haul-away, and the cost will depend on whether or not you are making a purchase at the same time you are requesting an item to be hauled away.

6. Dell

There are 2 ways to get value from the Dell recycling program:

  • Trade in your device of any brand and get a Dell Gift Card towards your next purchase
    • Devices include Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs, Desktop & All-in-Ones, Tablets, Phones, Gaming Consoles, Displays, DSLRs, Media Players, and Smart Watches
  • Donate to Dell Reconnect via Goodwill and receive a tax receipt
    • Devices include Computers, Monitors, Printers, Scanners, Hard drives, Keyboards, Mice, Speakers, and Cables

If your old electronics do not qualify for trade-in credit, you can also recycle your computer equipment through a free mail-back program. Simply print a pre-paid shipping label, box up your items, then drop them off at a local mailing center (or schedule a pickup).

7. HP

HP collects used products for resale and recycling in 74 countries worldwide! They currently accept PC, notebooks, printers, scanners, monitors, copiers, plotters, projectors, digital cameras, and mobile devices from most manufacturers. Note that supplies, accessories, or refurbished units do not qualify.

  • HP Device Recovery Service is a complete service solution that includes the secure and sustainable repurposing of end-of-use devices and provides residual value back to you
  • In addition to those programs, HP offers recycling for some items that do not qualify cash programs

8. Microsoft

Trade your qualifying old device for store credit at your local Microsoft Store. If your old laptop, tablet, phone, or gaming console has value, start shopping immediately with your new store credit.

Even if your device doesn’t qualify for a store credit, Microsoft will wipe your data and safely recycle it for you for free.

Plus remember that students get a 10% discount at the Microsoft store.

9. Office Depot / OfficeMax

Recycle your used printer cartridges and earn rewards. Note that damaged cartridges are not accepted.

  • Recycling Rewards members receive $2 back in rewards when recycling your ink & toner cartridges. Up to 10 cartridges per month ($10 minimum monthly purchase required).
  • Business Select members ($99 annual fee) will receive 3 General Depot Dollars when recycling ink and toner cartridges. Up to 10 cartridges per month (minimum purchase of $10).

You may also choose to mail back ink cartridges with a FREE pre-paid label (no rewards given). Simply fill a sturdy box with a minimum of 20 items or 20 lbs of mixed product, affix the UPS label to the box, seal it shut, and give the box to a UPS driver or take it to a UPS drop off location.

10. Sprint

Sprint offers a buyback program for devices (even from other carriers) to get credit towards your Sprint bill. Check online to see whether your device is eligible for the buyback program (also available in stores).

If your old device does not qualify for buyback, it can still be recycled for free via the 1Million Project, which provides devices and internet service for disadvantaged high school students.

11. Staples

Staples Electronics and Battery Recycling Programs

Staples Electronics and Battery Recycling Programs

Staples provides a few different options to earn for giving back your unwanted electronics items!

  • Sell your device: get a Staples eCash card for your computer, tablet, or smartphone
  • Staples Rewards members may recycle ink and toner cartridges and earn $2 back on every recycled ink or toner cartridge (minimum purchase required)

You can also recycle these other items for free (no Staples incentives provided, but you can still recycle them easily):

12. Walmart

Walmart Electronics Recycling Program

Walmart Electronics Recycling Program

Walmart offers an online trade-in program through cExchange. Check to see if you cell phone, tablet, game console, or voice speakers qualify, then mail in for free to get your Walmart eGift card.

13. Other eWaste

TerraCycle Electronic Waste Recycling

TerraCycle Electronic Waste Recycling

TerraCycle has created a free and easy way to recycle certain types of electronic waste. Shipments of at least 10 devices will be awarded TerraCycle points based on the contents of the shipment.

Sell Old Electronics to Someone Who Can Still Use Them

Of course, just because you personally stopped using your old electronics, doesn’t always mean that they don’t still have usable life left in them. You may be able to sell your old items for cash to someone who doesn’t need the latest technology (or someone who can easily repair a broken item).

These options may be best when you are not in the market to purchase anything new, and don’t necessarily want or need new product discounts, gift cards, or loyalty points.

1. eBay

eBay is one of the largest marketplaces for used items (they sell a cell phone every 4 seconds!). You are required to create a listing and process the shipping, but you will have access to a large global audience.

2. Gazelle

Gazelle Electronics Buy and Sell Mobile Devices

Gazelle Electronics Buy and Sell Mobile Devices

Gazelle has paid out over $25 million for consumer electronics. Get a quote for your device in a less than a minute, ship for free (or use a kiosk), and choose a preferred method for fast payment.

3. Recyclebank

Recyclebank offers a points system for recycling and recycling related activities, which you can then use for discounts and merchandise from over 4,000 partners

4. NextWorth 

NextWorth has processed over 3 million trade-ins during their 12 years of business and paid out of $210 million dollars! Sell your used devices through both online and in-store programs.

Other Free Recycling Options 

While no points or monetary incentives are given with these programs, you can rest easy knowing that your waste does not end up in landfills or polluting the environment. These programs are free to use and the stores can be found in multiple locations.

1. Grand & Toy (Canada)

THINK is Grand & Toy’s ink & toner recycling solution for the office. They will collect your empty ink & toner cartridges and remanufacture them where possible – recycling all others that cannot go through the remanufacturing process.

2. LG 

LG has a recycling program for all LG branded products, including LG, Zenith, and Goldstar. You can look up drop off locations online or choose a no-cost mail back program. Additionally, they will recycle used packaging for their products!

3. Rechargeable Batteries & Cell Phones

Rechargeable batteries can be dropped off or sent in for free recycling via the Call2Recycle program.

4. Samsung

Samsung provides convenient and responsible takeback options for consumer electronic products. Different options are available depending on the product and location of the consumer. Learn more online.

5. Sony

To encourage the proper disposal of electronic products and batteries, Sony introduced the Take Back Recycling Program to offer free recycling of unwanted Sony® products in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit their recycling program website.

6. Xerox 

Xerox customers have returned more than 2.5 million cartridges and toner containers annually through the Green World Alliance recycling program. This has kept more than 145 million pounds of waste out of landfills over the past 20 years!

Other recycling options may exist in your local area. For example, Lowe’s and Home Depot offer free recycling of certain products at my local stores (including light bulbs and plastic bags), although participation is not nationwide and varies by store location. Check with your local store to see if they have bins to recycle toxic waste products including fluorescent bulbs and CFLs.

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In addition to all the great places that you can be rewarded for recycling electronic waste items, be sure to check out the places you can be rewarded for recycling old beauty products and containers, recycling household waste, and recycling clothing items & shoes.

29 Responses

  1. Bella says:

     Thanks for sharing this wonderful information. The world is evolving and there and nothing is going as waste anymore. It’s nice to see how these brands and shops are sitting effort into recycling which will reduce waste and pollution of the environment. Advance Auto part is one I can make use of at moment due to a large number of spare parts in my store that are not in use. I hope to utilize this offer.

  2. Paul says:

    Hi Alyce,

    Thanks for the article I enjoyed it. I found your article highly uplifting and educational.

    Every one wants to sell something via their blog posts and it will cost us money. However, your article is saving us money which is amazing. We have loads of electronic items in our house which is occupying 5 shelves. Old computer monitors, mobile phones, video games, 3 TV’s, etc.

    This article is an eye-opener for me and I can tell you I have taken some great insights from this article. I am bookmarking your article for future references.

    Thank you for taking the time to do this.

  3. Jessie says:

    I have had ATT for almost ten years and did not know they had this program partly because I just have autopay and never have to worry about anything.  I will be taking advantage of this though!  I have at least four different phones that I know longer use..  Do you know if they take several at one time?

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Jessie, It’s great to hear that you can take advantage of phone recycling for so many phones! I do believe that you can submit more than one, but those policies can change often so be sure to contact them directly to know for sure.

  4. Benson says:

    It’s nice knowing your old devices does not need to be thrown way when they are no longer in us. Truly these things can be unsafe to the environment and the need for recycling is essential. Now the brands you have listed that offer these recycling activities are some of the most popular ones you see in almost every household. The amazon gift card that is given out, how do they place worth on the cards?

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Benson, the value of the cards is going to correlate with the value of what is recycled. It’s nice to get a reward for recycling electronic waste while also keeping it from polluting the environment. 

  5. Wilson says:

    Wow this is great I needed to doing something with my old tech. I just have all of my old tech just sitting around somehwere I didn’t realize that I could get anything out of it. I have been trading in old iphone’s to get money off my next one but I didn’t realize that applied to so much more of my old equipment. 

  6. SeunJeremiah says:

    Thanks for this informative article, I honestly didn’t know I could trade my old electronics for cash of gift cards, and most amazingly I’ve got a whole lot of electronics from my dad and grandma that I was looking forward to disposing them earlier on but this article has indeed changed my perspective. I’m instead going to recycle these electronics to earn money in return.  Thanks for sharing.

    • Alyce says:

      Awesome! Good to know that the toxic parts will stay out of the environment and that you will earn a bit of money for your trouble!!

  7. Dave Sweney says:

    I loved this post and have bookmarked it so I can check and recycle my electronic devices as they get replaced and get rewarded for doing so. The idea behind it makes too much sense, as we all seek to waste less and help keep the environment clean for the next generations. 

    To tell you the truth, I had no idea that so many companies had started such programs but I sure am glad they have. There are many options these days to make sure that you can help keep the earth cleaner. It also makes sense from a resource aspect, as many of the parts can be reused in new equipment.

    Do you prefer one program over another? I am in Dubai, so some of these options are not available here, but some are. I will definitely use the service now that I know about them. Thanks for the heads up, great subject and post. Recycling of electronics and everything else is an idea whose time has come.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Dave, I’m a big fan of finding ways to reuse things when possible, so I’d probably start with ways to sell the items to someone else who can use them. If your old items are truly obsolete, then I’d choose a place to recycle where you already like to shop (for me that might be Best Buy or Amazon).

  8. Harry says:

    I have a shed full of out-of-order electronics and I was thinking about throwing everything out sometime next weekend.

    Thank God I came across your article right now because I might be able to actually get something out of all this useless junk.

    I bookmarked your website to check it in more detail later although I am already aware that I will be able to recycle a couple of old mobile phones, a couple of Apple iPads, as well as a huge LG TV.

    Thanks a lot!

    • Alyce says:

      How fantastic! I hope you find the programs easy to use and can earn a little money while clearing out your shed!

  9. RoDarrick says:

    Wow, I’m overwhelmed with joy that I came across this post just around this time. I and my wife just moved to a new apartment and it’s kind if smaller in size to our former one and as such there’s need for us to dispose most of our gadgets that won’t fit in to the new house rather than let them lay waste around. This is an excellent means for me to cash in on some of them and hopefully they are of very good values. Indeed, technology is the game changer

    • Alyce says:

      The rate of improvements in technology is mind-boggling! Thanks for finding responsible ways to clear out your old gadgets — I hope you both love your new home!!

  10. My Daily Pointers says:

    Thank you for this article.  I have been attempting to purge things in my home and came across two laptops.  I didnt know what to do with them and so they went back into the closet.

    I think I need to some more research in my community to see if there is a place that I can take them.  I often wonder before there were these places to recycle all of our electronics, what has ever happened to it all?  The landfills I suppose but what a shame!  Thank goodness we are moving forward in this regard.

    • Alyce says:

      The other benefit of these recycling programs is that they will “sanitize” your devices and remove personal information before reusing or recycling the parts… a very important service when you’re dealing with old laptops!

  11. Wayne says:

    Hi, Alyce.

    Wow! Am I glad I stumbled across your post. I have various types of electric devices that are just sitting around my place and I have been wondering how I can get rid of them.  An, hey, if I can make a few dollars in the process, so much the better.

    I’ll have to check Best Buy Canada and see if they have the same thing going on as you do in the States. I think they probably do.  It would certainly be worth checking it out.

    Staples, Dell, Walmart, Samsung and more are all here in Canada. There are just so many ways to get rid of our old technology that I didn’t know about.

    Thank you for making up this list (I’m betting there are more).  I am definitely going to check out some of these.  Recycling has come a long way and we need to do our part to improve our environmental footprint.

    If I might add one note.  Anyone wanting to recycle their old electronics should make sure they delete all sensitive files and information from them before handing them over.

    Thanks again, Alyce.

    Wayne

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Wayne, you bring up a good point about taking care of sensitive data on old devices. Fortunately, many of the recyclers will wipe all personal data before recycling the devices!

  12. Ibrahim says:

    I always feel like if I bring my old device back to the same company, they are just gonna screw me over and pay me pennies for some tech that is worth way more.  On the other hand, I would probably forget it, or have it collect dust somewhere in my house so I guess this is the better alternative.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Ibrahim, It’s probably best to shop around to get the top dollar for your old devices to get the best deal. Fortunately, you can see that you have a lot of options to choose from, and the competition should help ensure that you get a great price for your old device!

  13. Anusuya says:

    This article awakens me. I have not disposed of any electronic items over 25 years and they are all lying in my basement. I was worried about mother earth.

    Now the knowledge from this article will help me dispose of with or without benefits all my stuff. 

    What a wonderful thought expressed in this article with benefits. I am sure it is a lot of research done to put it together. This site will help everyone. Thank you.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Anusuya, I believe you are in good company. There are many of us who have been holding on to old electronics in order to safeguard our data and find ways to dispose of these items properly. I’m glad this helps!

  14. Snigdha Alam says:

    The recycling process actually makes it very convenient for all of us. I heard from my friend that the Amazon Trade-In Program offers gift cards in exchange for eligible items from customers. This is really a wonderful way. Because things can play a good role in some updates. This method is very convenient we can easily adapt this method.
    Thank you for sharing good information.

  15. gr8megawinner says:

    Your blog on Best Reward Program, Recycle Your Electronic Waste & Earn Rewards is an eyeopener for me as it enlightened me that a lot of companies, big ones are giving schemes to recycle electronic products and it’s shocking that the production of electronic gadgets, etc. double every year as per Moore’s Law! the problem is exacerbated by how soon an electronic item gets obsolete or outdated… Companies like Apple, Walmart, Amazon, Dell, HP, and dozens more are giving different sort of scheme for people who are selling the old gadgets for recycling in exchange for monetary considerations, discounts, gift vouchers, discounts and points which lead to a cheaper purchase of new one. A great win-win strategy for companies and consumers.

    • Alyce says:

      Sometime people need a little push to help them do the right thing like safely dispose of electronic waste… these programs can only help!

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