Now there’s a new way to recycle cell phones and other wireless devices: Verizon Wireless has launched a unique trade-in program that's not just for Verizon products. In fact, Verizon accepts devices from any wireless vendor.
To use the Verizon Wireless Trade-In Program, first go online to appraise your device. You’ll then receive a postage-paid envelope to mail the device to the company. If the device still has some value based on the appraisal, you can get a Verizon Wireless gift card by mail. You can use the card to purchase a new phone or accessory or, if you’re a customer, to pay your Verizon Wireless bill.
You may also choose to donate your device to Verizon's HopeLine initiative, which recycles older phones and donates refurbished ones to victims of domestic violence. To date, that program has collected over 7 million cell phones, keeping them out of landfills. (This video describes the HopeLine program.)
Sprint also offers a recycling program. As of May 2009, the wireless company said it has diverted more than 16 million units from landfills for reuse or recycling since 2001.Other trade-in programs for old electronic gadgets are offered by Radio Shack and Costco.
For more information on electronics re-use and recycling centers, we offer Consumer Reports Greener Choices. And for an extensive list of manufacturers' individual programs, see GoodCleanTech’s Recycling Superguide.
Know of any electronics recycling programs not mentioned here? Have you tried any programs already? What was the experience like? Please let us know in comments, below.