Arlington, VA. - Eighty percent of consumers will purchase new electronics this holiday season, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which is offering tips to help consumers safely and effectively dispose of unwanted electronics.
Turn in the Old:
Most major CE manufacturers and many retailers have reliable, nationwide recycling programs. For instance, Best Buy's Take Back program, available in all of its U.S. stores, accepts all electronics, regardless of point of purchase. Also, many cities and towns have instituted community electronics recycling programs and events, CEA said.
or the EPA's Web site
for a complete list of programs.
Verify your Recycler:
There are several recognized certification programs for e-waste recyclers that are willing to use safe, market-driven recycling methods that respond to the needs of consumers, manufacturers and retailers, including the
, CEA noted. It is also important for consumers to ask recyclers the process they use to minimize impacts to the environment and community, and to check for certifications on recyclers' Web sites before engaging with them.
Pay It Forward:
In the holiday spirit of giving, donate your unwanted electronics to charity.
collects used cellphones and donates refurbished phones to underprivileged communities around the globe, while
provides reused and refurbished computers to various developing countries, CEA said.
Protect Your Identity:
Recycling devices that store personal information, including computers and smartphones, can put you at risk for identity theft. However, there are many services that can help you erase your personal information from these devices, such as
in Norton Utilities, System Works for PCs and Macs, and a free cellphone data eraser tool from
, the association said.
: CEA explained that many electronics are made from recycled, eco-friendly and biodegradable materials. Before making a purchase, CEA suggested researching the product to find eco-friendly models. Many manufacturers post product descriptions online. When it comes to powering a new CE product, consumers can also minimize unnecessary waste (and get longer-lasting power) by opting for rechargeable batteries over disposable, whenever possible, CEA said.
For more recycling tips, visit