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Do you have an island of misfit gadgets somewhere in your home? You know, like that cell phone that dates back to the flip era, a laptop that requires regular biceps curls to lug from room to room, or that once-cutting-edge 3-megapixel digital camera—the kind of junk even your local charity considers an insult.
The most likely reason you haven't banished these devices from your home is that recycling them is such a hassle. Admittedly, it's much easier to toss these relics in the trash than it is to dispose of them properly—but not only would this be wrong, it’s also illegal in many states. At this time, 25 states have some form of e-waste recycling legislation, according to the Electronics Takeback Coalition.
Disposing of digital detritus appropriately may take a little research, but often it's as easy as bringing the junk with you on your next shopping trip. Most electronics manufacturers have programs in place to take items back, either at drop-off locations or through the mail. And retailers often have bins for depositing items such as spent batteries. Municipalities also offer disposal sites in many areas. In most cases, these programs are free; some retailer programs even offer store gift cards for your trade-in items.