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Put old gadgets to good use through recycling, trade-in programs

If Santa brought you a fabulous new GPS system, an iPhone or a high-def TV, you may be wondering what to do with the old gadgets still lying around. Here are a few ideas. Anne Krishnan, McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers

Green Earth Exchange offers the chance to recycle old electronics into Amazon.com gift cards. In addition to videocameras, laptops and TVs, Green Earth accepts MP3 players, satellite radios and e-readers. Those that have no market value get recycled for free. A hypothetical Garmin Nuvi 660 that I'm shopping around for would garner $58.60 on the site. Learn more at greenearthexchange.com.

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Target is getting into the trade-in game too. Through a partnership with Nextworth, at target.nextworth.com, Target is giving gift cards for gadgets. My Nuvi would be worth $63.60 at Target.

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Sony and Dell both accept used technology. For items new enough to be resold, they'll give you cash. They'll recycle the rest.

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Sony's trade-in program offers cash for IT and professional products including printers, monitors, desktop computers and smart phones. You must provide proof of purchase of a Sony product for the deal to go through. There's a deal offering up to $300 to people who trade in and buy certain notebook computers. Check it out at sony.tradeups.com.

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Dell Exchange offers Dell gift cards for everything from PCs to digital cameras. I'd get $87 for my Garmin Nuvi from this site. Learn more at tinyurl.com/DellExchange. You also can designate when buying a new Dell computer that you want the company to recycle your old one. The option is free.

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Sony and Dell both help you donate unwanted computers to schools and nonprofits around the world through the National Cristina Foundation, www.cristina.org. Dell gives you a coupon for 10 percent off as thanks.

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Recycle rechargeable batteries and cell phones (which use rechargeable batteries) through Call2Recycle, which bills itself as the only free collection program for those items in North America. Also look for dropoff points. Find them at www.call2recycle.org.

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Finally, you can donate your cell phone to a good cause.

• Verizon Wireless' HopeLine collects, refurbishes (when possible) and sells old phones and equipment. With the proceeds, the company donates wireless phones and airtime to victims of domestic violence and supports shelters and prevention programs. See how to donate at verizonwireless.com (search the site for HopeLine).

• Cell Phones for Soldiers (cellphones forsoldiers.com) is collecting phones to give to soldiers when they return home.

• Through ReCellular, you can turn your phone into a donation for Red Cross earthquake relief in Haiti. Download a prepaid mailing label at www.phonesforhaiti.com.

Put old gadgets to good use through recycling, trade-in programs 02/05/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 5, 2010 3:30am]

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