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ASK A TECH GEEK: How Can I Recycle Old Cables & Chargers?

by , 06/20/11

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Each week renowned gadget expert Peter Rojas from gadget Q&A site GDGT.com answers your questions about green technology in our Ask A Tech Geek Series. Read on for this week’s installment and submit your questions below!

QUESTION: I’ve got boxes full of old USB cords and cell phone adapters that I don’t use anymore. What’s the best way to get rid of them?

 -submitted by scifilullabies

PETER ROJAS:
Anyone who buys gadgets know how cables and chargers can accumulate, and almost everyone I know has a drawer filled with random cables and chargers from products that were discontinued years ago. These days manufacturers ship almost everything with a USB cable, regardless of whether you need one or not.

So what to do about it?

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Obviously you shouldn’t just dump these in the trash – e-waste can be a big source of pollution if not properly recycled. First you should try your family and friends. Usually you can find someone who can use a USB cable, if nothing else. If you can’t find any friends or family members who can use one of those extra cables or chargers, it’s worth checking out Earth 911‘s site to see If there is an appropriate e-waste recycling center nearby.

In New York City (where I live), places like the Lower East Side Ecology Center and Apple story Tekserve regularly hold e-waste recycling events. In fact, there is one coming up on July 16th, at Tekserve in Chelsea.

Around the country, many BestBuy stores accept electronics, including old cables and chargers, for recycling, and you can check their website here to see if there is a store near you.

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WANT TO ASK A TECH GEEK?
Do you have a green technology question you’d like to ask Peter? Submit it to him by leaving a comment on this post or tweeting it to @Inhabitat and/or @peterrojas with the hashtag #AskATechGeek!

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11 Comments

  1. mbent September 30, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    can iuse an old kindle battery to power other devices? radio?

  2. FOXYWEEZY April 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    I’M NEW AT LIVING GREEN,I WOULD LIKE TO FIND OTHER USAGE FOR ELECTRONICS OR DIGITAL DEVICES.I HAVE CABLE BOXES AND MODEMS FROM PREVIOUS CABLE SERVICES.I FOUND A GALAXY (EPIC) PHONE LOADED WITH APPS AND FEATURES.IT WAS SERVICED BY SPRINT.CAN I GET SERVICE ON THIS PHONE WITH A NEW COMPANY. WHAT IS JAIL BREAKING A PHONE, WILL THAT MAKE IT USEABLE AGAIN.

  3. zara88 March 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    do you get any cash back for all the cables and gadgets that you give for recycling.

  4. Ricka June 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Donation is not an answer. First REDUCE, REUSE and then donate or recycle. Normally I reuse and don’t buy cables for printers, MP3 players etc., when it is not supplied. Sometimes I use them as an extension (HDD case cable for laserjet). Also, reuse them for powering devices or DIY projects.

  5. Kestrel Jenkins Kestrel Jenkins June 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Best Buy trip is in the works. Thanks Peter!

  6. Dan Mendes Dan Mendes June 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Definitely need to go through all my wires at home, didn’t know I could donate them locally

  7. Jessica Dailey Jessica Dailey June 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Great tips! Also, if you live in NYC, GrowNYC regularly hosts e-waste pick-ups at Greenmarkets, so check the schedule!

  8. Nicole Abene Nicole Abene June 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    definitely makes me want to shop at best buy more often – so cool that they accept e-waste!

  9. raebenz June 16, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Thanks
    Much needed practical information.

  10. Jasmin Malik Chua Jasmin Malik Chua June 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks!

  11. Diane Pham Diane Pham June 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    looks like my pile of wires at home. i think i need to make a trip to best buy.

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