e-wasteElectronic waste, or “e-waste,” is a term used to describe any electronic device that is outdated, obsolete, broken, donated, discarded, or at the end of its useful life. This includes cell phones, computers, laptops, PDAs, monitors, televisions, printers, scanners, and any other electrical device.

Cell Phones:

Get paid to recycle your cell phones. Most major cell phone carriers offer some sort of a recycling option. And some in the U.S., like Sprint, Verizon and AT&T, can offer recyclers serious cash for their devices. They’ve partnered with eRecyclingCorps, the largest recycler of wireless devices in the world. Start cashing in by clicking here.

 The Good News:

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Cell phones are getting more environmentally friendly. Today’s phones are made with considerably less cadmium and lead than older models, and they’re also getting lighter. The average phone weighs around 4 ounces, minus the battery—about half of what it weighed in 2000. Recycling rates are also improving: In 2003, fewer than 1 percent of owners recycled their phones, but now it’s closer to 20 percent. Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) recently introduced the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (H.R. 6252). It would outlaw sending e-waste to developing nations, but it’s still hanging out with the House Committee of Energy and Commerce. Click here for an explanatory infographic on electronic recycling!

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