‘Tis the season for holiday gift giving (and receiving!), and it would be hard to find anyone who isn’t shopping for one of the season’s newest high-tech gadgets.
Most of these fun, new toys run on rechargeable batteries that ensure hours of unplugged access. However, as new products come out, and old ones are replaced, it is important to remember that if improperly disposed, those rechargeable batteries create waste and can be harmful to the environment.
“By making recycling part of your holiday festivities, you are helping to reduce the waste sent to our nation’s landfills,” said Linda Gabor, vice president of marketing and account management at Call2Recycle®. “When upgrading to the latest and greatest technologies this holiday season, give a gift to the planet by recycling your used rechargeable batteries and cell phones at one of Call2Recycle’s free drop-off locations nationwide.”
Call2Recycle, the only free rechargeable battery and cell phone collection program in North America , offers over 30,000 public collection sites, including major retailers like Best Buy, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, RadioShack and Staples. Along with other recycling options that may be available to you locally, there are plenty of ways to properly discard your favorite gadget’s rechargeable batteries and enjoy your new ones guilt free!
Here are some popular gadgets this season that present some extra recycling opportunities:
1. Tablets: Apple iPad 2, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab
Fully loaded with the latest technology, the newest tablets are thin, lightweight and more capable than ever, making them one of the hottest gadgets on wish lists everywhere.
Ranging widely in price and features, shoppers have plenty of choices. Apple fans will love the iPad 2 with its updated operating features and its 10- hour battery life, however there are non-Apple contenders such as the Android-operated Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab that typically offer comparable features in a lower price range.
Tablets are powered by rechargeable batteries that have varying life spans depending on the product and the owner’s usage habits. While they are being created to last longer and longer, it is very important to dispose of them properly once they are being replaced.
Apple products should be recycled by returning to Apple, where it will be managed in an environmentally responsible way. For other brands, check to see if the brand you purchase has a buy-back or recycling program established.
If not, find a participating location in your area by visiting Call2Recycle’s rechargeable battery collection drop off locator.
2. Handheld Gaming Devices: Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, Leapfrog
Putting hours of entertainment at your fingertips, these handy handhelds make on-the-go gaming easier than ever with a vast selection of video games and fun learning programs.
In most cases, their rechargeable lithium ion batteries will last up to 10 hours per charge and take about 500 charges. However, when it comes time to replace your battery, or upgrade your system altogether, the batteries shouldn’t go in the trash. Check out your local recycling options; often major retailers will take back electronics at no charge.
Nintendo also offers a take-back program, and Call2Recycle offers drop off locations and send-back programs across the country.
3. Smartphones: iPhone, Samsung, HTC
This year a smartphone is a smart choice for holiday gift giving. Apple’s iPhone 4S was released just in time for the holidays with even more bells and whistles to make it a very popular choice.
The iPhone is by no means the only choice, however, for those interested in other brands or operating systems.
Brands like Blackberry, HTC, Samsung and Motorola are constantly coming out with sleeker, feature-loaded smartphones for anyone looking to stay connected.
Smartphones use rechargeable lithium ion batteries, and their lifespan between charges tends to be on the short side due to their size. However, if you get the smartphone of your dreams this season and are done with your old one, be sure to recycle it! Call2Recycle collects all cell phone types at their drop-off locations, and Apple brand products can be returned to Apple for proper disposal.
4. Cameras: Nikon, Canon, Olympus
As far as gadgets go, it’s hard to go wrong with a digital camera.
Depending on your needs and your budget, there are a ton of choices spanning the price and feature spectrum.
Popular brands such as Nikon, Canon, Olympus and Sony offer everything from low-end cameras for the beginner to high-end options for the photo pro.
Regardless of the brand or price range, the rechargeable batteries digital cameras use all need to be recycled properly. Whether you’re replacing your old camera entirely, or just the battery, be sure to check the brand for a take-back program or find a Call2Recycle drop-off nearby.
5. E-readers: Barnes and Noble Nook, Amazon Kindle
An e-reader can make a great gift, whether it’s for the student, the traveler or the bookworm in your life. With their no-glare screens, built-in book lights and endless library options, these gadgets have mass appeal. Choices abound from Barnes and Noble’s Nook to Amazon’s Kindle products.
Their rechargeable batteries range in life span, meaning replacements will be inevitable. Most e-reader battery replacements are small and can be purchased and installed by the owner. Just be sure when the time comes to replace your e-reader’s battery that you find a local Call2Recycle location rather than tossing it out!
Editor’s Note: Earth911 partners with many industries, manufacturers and organizations to support its Recycling Directory, the largest in the nation, which is provided to consumers at no cost. Call2Recycle is one of these partners.