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The Green Life: Green Biz: How To Recycle Electronics

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March 03, 2009

Green Biz: How To Recycle Electronics

Recycle electronics It's hard to throw out old electronics. But it's hard to keep 'em too. Whether you're an eager early adopter, frustrated by obsolete software, or dealing with technical malfunctions, there inevitably comes a time to bid adieu to your cell phone, computer, digital camera, or MP3 player.

Eco-conscious gearheads would never toss them into the trash, dooming them to become a droplet in the toxic e-waste tidal wave. This year, in the United States alone, more than 300 million electronic devices will be banished to the landfill. It needn't be that way.

Enter Gazelle, Flipswap, TechForward, and a spate of other relatively new companies trying to earn some green by buying, then reselling or recycling, used electronics from the general public.

Are they for real? Venture capitalists seem to think so: They're pouring tens of millions of dollars into these businesses in hopes of simultaneously cashing in and doing good. With luck and enough participation -- and if consumers don't infer that it's now acceptable to discard slightly older gadgets for newer, cooler ones -- this trend might help ameliorate the environmental and health problems associated with e-waste.

--Avital Binshtock

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