Where to Recycle Electronics for Free

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.

Have outmoded tech equipment you want to recycle? You don’t have to wait for your locality to schedule special collection days.

Staples offers FREE recycling of electronics at Staples stores nationwide every day.

No Staples in your area? Best Buy also offers free electronics recycling.

You can also drop off any brand of computer equipment for recycling at some Goodwill stores, thanks to a partnership with Dell. Just follow these guidelines.

How to recycle at Staples

Staples
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Here’s everything you need to know about getting rid of your used electronics at Staples without putting them in the trash.

What does Staples accept for recycling?

Donation box filled with old office equipment and electronics
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You can recycle most electronics, regardless of brand or where the items were purchased. At certain times of the year, Staples even offers money-back rewards and special offers when you recycle or shred in store.

Staples’ technology recycling program accepts desktop PCs, networks, laptops, tablets, external hard drives, small servers and all computer monitors.

You can also recycle printers and printer cartridges, desktop copiers, fax machines, keyboards, modems/routers, mice, PC speakers, gaming consoles and webcams.

Plus they’ll take shredders, mobile phones, video streaming devices, tablets, eReaders, GPS devices, MP3 players, digital camcorders. digital cameras and SodaStream cylinders. See the full list of all accepted items here.

Items not accepted include alkaline batteries in most states, appliances (except for coffee machines weighing less than 40 pounds), floor-model printers and copiers, lamps or bulbs, large servers, large speakers, medical devices, non-rechargeable lithium batteries, records and record players, smoke detectors, televisions and vaporizers.

How do you recycle electronics at Staples?

Old Cell Phones, Electronics
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Just drop off your items at the Staples service desk. There is a limit of seven items per customer per day in most stores.

What does Staples do with recycled electronics?

Recycle computer
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After they are dropped off, all electronics marked for recycling are kept in an employee-only area of the store. Once enough devices have been collected, they are sent to a Staples warehouse location where they are then packed and shipped to a national recycling partner.

After the electronics arrive at the partner facility, they are sorted based on the potential for refurbishing or parts harvesting. If it looks like an item can be refurbished, or that it may have parts that can be reused, it is separated for processing.

Any data-containing devices, like computers or phones, that are entering the reuse market are either wiped to Department of Defense specifications or have their hard drives and memory cards destroyed.

Items that cannot be reused or refurbished are run through a large shredder that separates various metals, plastics and glass that are then sent to different recycling facilities to be further processed.

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