Now that the new iPhone is here (and rumours persisting of a new iPad before Christmas), you might find yourself with a few extra silicon gadgets lying around the house.
What to do with them? Personally, I use my old iPhones as new iPods for my kids. Pop out the sim card, turn off the mobile features and it’s just like an iPod Touch – except one that cost $1000. The other option is a more thorough recycling. Here’s how to do it:
First things first, make sure you remove all of your personal information from your device. When I recycled my old laptops, I first removed the hard drive. I bought a simple case for it, and I keep it as a backup.
For recycling phones, especially smart phones which can contain passwords, contant information, banking data, and more make sure you perform a factory reset. This resets your phone to the original factory settings. Contact your provider about how to do this for your particular model of phone.
Once you’ve wiped the device of information, it’s time to get rid of it.
Making some money off your older iPhone, or Samsung Galaxy, or BlackBerry is very easy to do. Sure you could try eBay or Craigslist, but Gazelle is a gadget reseller that gives you money right up front for your device, and doesn’t charge for shipping or anything.
You fill out an online form telling them about your device. They’ll quote you a price and if you accept it, they send you a plain box and the deal is done. If your device is too old, and worth nothing, Gazelle will still help you out by acting as a recycler. They’ll have the device responsibly torn down to salvageable parts and keep them out of landfills.
Many manufacturers are very responsible in recycling their hardware. Go to their corporate page to search their recycling policy and you’ll find out if they accept the items, or recommend other outlets for recycling.
Kodak offers a mail-in cash program for old digital cameras, digital photo frames and printers, not just their own brand.
Staples will accept many office type items for free recycling, and you can even get gift cards when you bring back printer cartridges.
Best Buy will let you drop off up to 2 items a day for responsible recycling. Note some do have recycling fees attached to them (TVs, for example). You pay, you don’t get paid.
COMMUNITY E-CYCLING SERVICES
You can recycle old cell phones at the Calgary Zoo. For every cell phone returned, Eco-Cell will make a donation to the Calgary Zoo’s Conservation Outreach Fund, which supports ape conservation initiatives, including projects for gorillas. Since 2007, nearly 20 000 phones have been dropped off at the South Security entrance or at the North or West Gates.
Alberta Recycling is recommended by a number of manufacturers. It has information on recycling everything from paint to tires to electronics. The electronics collected at municipal collection sites are transported to Alberta’s 6 registered electronics processors, where they are reduced to commodity state (plastics, metals, glass), which are then used by manufacturers to create new products. None of the products processed in Alberta’s electronics recycling program are sent to, or ‘dumped’ into developing countries.
The Electronics Recycling Association (ERA) is a national initiative to process recycled electronics for charity. they refurbish old items and pass them along to charities who need technical items, or break them down for responsible recycling. In Calgary, there is an ERA depot on 1301 34th Ave SE.
APP OF THE WEEK: Bad Piggies [99c]
The gang from Rovio are out with the sequel to the Angry Birds franchise and it’s called Bad Piggies. This one is a little more complicated I’m finding. You are given bits and pieces to build vehicles to help the Bad Piggies fly. Not as simple as pull and fly like the birds, but it’s from Rovio, it’s got the familiar characters and it was just released this week.