A 2008 study by the Consumer Electronics Association reported that Americans own an average of 24 electronics per household. What do we do with all this technology when it becomes outdated? Our first thought might be to toss old electronics out with trash, but reusing and recycling are better choices. Electronics like radios can be donated or recycled for their valuable metals and materials.
Brainstorm ways to reuse your old radios before opting to recycle. Is there a way you could fix or use them that you haven’t already considered? Do you know anyone who wants a radio? Ask friends by phone or on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter whether they could use an AM/FM radio. If you don’t get any takers, recycle the radio.
Gather your unwanted radios, along with any other electronic devices you want to donate, and pack them in a box. Tape shut the box to secure the electronics.
Find a recycling center or charity that accepts used electronics like AM/FM radios. You can find centers near your home on eco-friendly sites like Earth 911 and My Green Electronics. (See Resources)
Call your center of choice to find out how to donate or visit its website. Some centers might come to your home to pick up electronics, while others will want you to drop them off yourself.
Load the box of electronics into your car and drive to the recycling center if it doesn’t perform pick-ups.
Drop off the electronics with a recycling center employee. Fill out any required paperwork and ask for a receipt to use for possible tax deductions.
Try to reuse or donate your radio before recycling it. Making new objects from recycled ones requires more energy and resources than a donation does.
Sarah Watson is a Chicago-based freelance writer. She has been writing professionally since 2006, with work appeared in poetry anthologies and literary journals such as "Arts Beat," as well as in various online publications. Watson holds a Master of Arts in education from Northern Illinois University.