New York Magazine

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Dump Your Junk

Where to jettison laptops, cell phones, and iPods without polluting the waste stream.

ShareThis

Maybe you want to ditch your analog TV before it goes dark next February (when broadcasters switch over to digital). Or maybe you’re just cleaning out a year’s worth of electronic clutter. Options? You could throw it all to the curb, a landfill-clogging move that the City Council just deemed a finable offense (albeit not until 2010). Or you can earn good karma—and, in some cases, sales discounts or tax rebates—and recycle. The following organizations are ready to take junk off your hands now.

BIG STUFF



Air Conditioners

THE CONVENIENT OPTION
Where to Unload It: On the curb outside your building.
When: Schedule a pickup by calling 311 three days prior to your recycling-collection day.
What Happens Next: Freon is recovered, then all components are recycled.
While You’re at It: The Sanitation Department also accepts water coolers, dehumidifiers, and other Freon-containing items.

THE VIRTUOUS OPTION
Where to Unload It: One of eleven Goodwills in the city.
When: During open hours (call 718-728-5400 or go to goodwillny.org to check times).
What Happens Next: A/Cs are tested, dusted off, and then sold in stores for 50 to 75 percent of market value.
While You’re At It: Drop off any electronics, except computers, in good working condition.



Televisions

THE CONVENIENT OPTION
Where to Unload It: The back of a Salvation Army truck.
When: Call at least two weeks before you want the TV gone (800-958-7825). Forget about it if you live higher than the second floor in a walk-up.
What Happens Next: Sold in one of eight storefronts.
While You’re at It: Bundle any working electronics, plus computers less than five years old.

THE VIRTUOUS OPTION
Where to Unload It: Materials for the Arts (33 00 Northern Blvd., nr. 33rd St., Long Island City; 718-729-3001).
When: Call for appointment weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What Happens Next: Donated to schools, community arts programs, and cultural organizations.
While You’re at It: Hand over most other working electronics.



Computers

THE CONVENIENT OPTION
Where to Unload It: Any of the city’s 58 Staples stores; $10 charge per item.
When: Regular store hours.
What Happens Next: Equipment is disassembled for recycling.
While You’re at It: Bring in monitors, printers, and other office gear. Computer accessories, digital cameras, cell phones, and ink cartridges all accepted for free.

THE VIRTUOUS OPTION
Where to Unload It: Per Scholas (1575 Bronx River Ave., nr. Noble Ave., the Bronx).
When: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
What Happens Next: Unusable items are recycled; the rest go to schools, senior centers, and other organizations in low-income communities.
Before You Donate: Remove all personal data from the hard drive.


SMALL STUFF



iPods

THE CONVENIENT OPTION
Where to Unload It: Any Apple Store.
When: Hours vary, but the midtown location (767 Fifth Ave., nr. 59th St.; 212-336-1440) is open around the clock.
What Happens Next: Working components are used for test parts and repairs. Everything else is recycled.
While You’re at It: Get 10 percent off a new iPod at the same time.

THE VIRTUOUS OPTION
Where to Unload It: The LAMP (Learning About Multimedia Project).
When: Call a week ahead to arrange a drop-off time or for pickup anywhere in the city (718-789-8170).
What Happens Next: Used in multimedia-literacy workshops for educators and low-income families.
While You’re at It: Donate Mac laptops and digital cameras.



Ink & Toner Cartridges

THE CONVENIENT OPTION
Where to Unload It: The free drop-off box at the nearest Best Buy, Office Depot, or Staples.
When: Regular store hours.
What Happens Next: Sent back to manufacturers for reuse, or recycled.
While You’re at It: Get rebate coupons for certain brands of cartridges—call the store before you go.

THE VIRTUOUS OPTION
Where to Unload It: Cartridge World’s five locations (go to cartridgeworldusa.com for local addresses).
When: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
While You’re at It: Receive up to $3 for each empty cartridge, or refill for about half the price of a new cartridge. You can bring in fax and copier cartridges, too.



Cell Phones

THE CONVENIENT AND VIRTUOUS OPTION
Where to Unload It: Any of the 28 Verizon Wireless stores in the city. All phones are accepted, regardless of manufacturer, carrier, age, or working order.
When: Anytime during regular store hours.
What Happens Next: Outdated phones are recycled; usable ones are refurbished (if necessary) and donated or sold, with proceeds going to city programs that combat domestic violence.
While You’re at It: Donate phone batteries, headsets, chargers, and pagers.


Related:

Advertising
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Advertising