Today I learned that Amazon will recycle small electronics for free

If you have a flip phone that you haven’t used in over a decade, or maybe even a broken tablet, Amazon pays for a shipping label that you can use to send it in for recycling. Apparently, this recycling program has been a thing for a while now, but several of us at The Verge never knew about it until we saw this tweet from journalist Dave Zatzand thought it might be wise to spread the word.

Amazon’s recycling program allows you to ship your little electronics for free from any UPS delivery point (you just have to provide the packaging). Amazon then transfers the devices it receives to a licensed recycling facility, noting that it will remove or destroy any “identification marks or personal information”[ads1]; during the process. Amazon still recommends performing a factory reset on your device (if it still works) before shipping it.

According to Amazon’s spokesperson Saige Kolpack, the company’s recycling program is not new – it has actually existed “for years” and Amazon just relaunched a new site in April to make it easier for customers to find. Not to be confused with Amazon’s swap program, which lets you submit Amazon devices, cell phones, video games, and other electronics in exchange for an Amazon gift card. You will not receive anything in return for submitting units to be recycled, other than the personal satisfaction of doing a small part in helping the environment.

A list of devices you can recycle.
Image: Amazon

The program is limited to small electronics only. You can find a list of all approved devices by clicking on the Amazon recycling page (which is still fully functional, even though it looks like something you would find online in 2005). This includes e-browsers, tablets, keyboards, mice, video game consoles, device covers, mobile phones, exercise trackers, smart home devices and more. It accepts pretty much any small device you can fit in a small box or envelope – broken or not – as long as they do not have “swollen or leaking batteries.”

I’m already looking at a few devices around my house to recycle for free – like the mini speaker I thought at the time would be a great buy from Dollar General (don’t judge). And since I already have a bunch of shipping boxes from my previous online purchases, I can double up and recycle it plus the unit.

But if you’re not a cardboard hamster and do not want to pay for your own shipping equipment, it’s worth noting that you can always bring your old, smaller electronics to your local Best Buy. Here you can deliver and recycle up to three items per household per day for free (or for a fee of $ 29.99 for TVs and monitors). Best Buy will even ship away your old appliances for $ 39.99 if you order a replacement through your dealer. Alternatively, you can also pay Best Buy $ 199 to come to your home to take away up to two large items (such as a TV or washing machine) without having to order a new one, in addition to an unlimited number of small electronics.

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