New motivation for recycling: cash
People have many incentives for recycling, including the environmental benefits. But there may be a universal reason that may inspire those who have thus far been reticent to recycle. That motivation is cold, hard cash.
Recycling electronics and home appliances can garner an individual some money, depending on the recycling method. Items in good condition could provide anywhere from $10 to several hundred, depending on the device.
There are many outlets to explore to recycle used merchandise.
• Government rebate programs— It pays to explore the incentives a city, state or province offers for items that would otherwise be discarded. Some organizations will actually pick up unwanted appliances and offer some money for the machine. The United States’ “Cash for Appliances” program offers rebates (anywhere from $50 to $200) when a new, energy-efficient appliance was purchased to replace an older appliance.
• Traditional sales—Another way to “recycle” merchandise is to sell it.
Online auction sites, newspaper classifieds and other methods of selling items can yield good results.
Many people are looking to get a deal in this challenging economy, and a slightly used smart phone or e-reader may be more enticing than purchasing a brand new item at a higher cost.
Research the resale value of a given item before putting it up for sale.
• Specialty companies— Organizations like Nextworth, Gazelle and YouRenew will take used electronics and offer cash for them. The companies will often take care of shipping costs and, because they’re used to such transactions, the process is often smooth.
Be sure to include the original packaging and power cords whenever possible.
• Donations—Schools, senior centers, day care organizations, and even needy people in the neighborhood are prime candidates for used electronics and other items.
When budgets are tight, many organizations look to the donations of well-meaning people to alleviate the deficit of equipment and supplies.
Instead of putting that used laptop in the trash, see if it can be donated to a school. Their technology team can refurbish it and put it to use in a classroom. The donation qualifies as a tax write-off.
• Saved garbage costs—For some, avoiding a trip to the recycling center or the fees of a garbage collection service is enough of an incentive to recycle merchandise with a specific organization.