If you haven’t heard by now, the next-gen iPad hits stores on March 16. So, if you’re already salivating at the thought of the big upgrade, here are three ways to recycle that old iPad or tablet first.
1. Make extra cash
If your iPad or tablet is still in working condition, you could make some serious cash by recycling it. Apple pays customers for their unwanted but usable iPads in Apple gift cards – meaning you can help foot the bill for your upgrade by recycling your current model.
To calculate your iPad’s value, you’ll need to answer a few questions about its condition: Does the battery fully charge, or has the device ever been water damaged? The estimated value of an iPad 2 in very good condition is $227, while an undamaged first-gen iPad will earn you around $117.
Like the Apple program, you’ll need to answer a few quick questions about the age and condition of your gadget first. Then, simply send your device in via prepaid postage, and you’ll usually receive payment for the full market value in less than two weeks.
2. Support charitable causes
Sure, you could make a few extra dollars by recycling your old iPad or tablet. But if you want to help your gadget give back, why not try using it to support charitable causes?
Devices like iPads are emerging as important educational tools, from teaching aids in low-income classrooms to communication assistance for special needs children. Plenty of causes can benefit from your old gadget.
Through a program started last year, Apple allows customers to donate their old iPads to the Teach for America Corps program, which places recent college graduates in teaching positions at low-income public schools.
Other organizations like Computers with Causes and iOS developer Steve Glinberg’s iPad Recycling Program will also take your old device and find it a home in an underfunded school. The HollyRod Foundation accepts donated iPads and gives them to special needs children and their families to help them communicate better.
For a wider selection of nonprofits, head to Recycling for Charities – a Web-based take-back program that accepts and recycles all forms of electronics and gives a value donation to your charity of choice. Causes include animal shelters, environmental initiatives and community groups.
3. Recover those resources
Some buy-back and charity programs will accept your iPad or tablet if it’s broken. But most shy away from non-working models. However, even the most banged-up devices are chock full of usable resources that are readily recoverable through recycling.
Apple’s recycling program accepts broken or unusable iPads (they just don’t pay you for them). Most electronics stores, including Best Buy, Staples and Radio Shack, also offer free take-back recycling programs for iPads and tablets.
For a full list of e-waste recyclers and retailer-based programs, including those supported by mom-and-pop shops in your area, head to Earth911′s database, and find a solution near you.