What the Tech: Recycling

Local News

Amazon says it had another record-breaking holiday as it sold billions of items and signed up over 5 million new Amazon Prime members. While the company doesn’t release official numbers it doesn’t take a statistician to realize there are empty Amazon shipping boxes in homes across the country.

Why fill up the landfill with them when you can put them to good use and maybe make some extra money?

Amazon offers several options to recycle old electronics you may have replaced with new ones this year. It’s called Amazon Second Chance. You can recycle, trade and sell old electronics through Amazon and get free shipping to get rid of them. You can earn Amazon gift cards by trading in almost any small electronic device such as smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and video games and accessories.

I found that you can trade in last year’s PS4 in good working condition and get $220 in Amazon gift cards. An old 1st generation Amazon Kindle Fire tablet I bought 5 years ago is still worth $5 even though it doesn’t hold a charge or turn on. You’re asked a few questions about the condition before receiving a trade-in offer. Once you accept it, you simply print out a shipping label and leave it for UPS or take it to a UPS pickup location. Your trade-in value appears instantly on your Amazon account.

For most non-working electronics you can send them off to Amazon using a free shipping label and the retailer says it will dispose of them in an environmentally responsible way. You can also recycle laptops, DVD and CD players, chargers and cables at many Best Buy and Staples stores. You might get a trade-in offer. If the items are recycled you will receive a tax deduction letter.

For larger items such as televisions, you might want to do an online search at Earth911 for nearby recycling centers.

Another option is to use the leftover shipping boxes to donate unwanted items to charity. Give Back Box works with charities across the country, taking donations from people of household items and clothing. When you visit the website you are asked to either choose your charity or let the organization choose one for you. If Give Back Box chooses the charity you can print out a free shipping label, box up the items and drop it off at a UPS Store. The items will be delivered to one of those charities.

Give Back Box is also taking donations of old Legos that will be distributed to other children so they can play.

You’ll find the website here.

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