9 Retailers You Never Knew Would Recycle Your Old Stuff
These retailers will reward you for giving them your unwanted electronics, furniture, and housewares.
As consumers, we create a massive amount of waste, filling up landfills with all of the products we’ve used and thrown away. While most people have a recycling bin along with their trash bin, they might not realize that many stores they frequent offer exceptional recycling programs for the items that can’t go in the recycling bin.
These major retailers have robust recycling programs that can refurbish and reuse your old clothes, smartphones, rechargeable batteries, or furniture. And, for items that aren’t reusable, these retailers partner with recycling companies that can break them down into their base components to create a variety of other products.
While lowering the impact you have on the local landfill is reason enough to hand off your unwanted furniture, tablet, bed sheets, or rechargeable batteries to these retailers, you might be surprised to know that many of these companies offer additional incentives in the form of coupons, gift cards, and trade-in deals. Ahead, learn more about some of the top retailers who will take your unwanted stuff.
1. Best Buy
The big-box appliance and electronics giant is a leader in recycling, reusing, or repurposing, to the tune of 2 billion pounds of e-waste and appliances since 2009. You can drop off old electronics at any of Best Buy’s more than 1,000 locations and even earn gift cards for those that still have value. Best Buy will also haul old TVs, fitness equipment, and appliances away for a nominal fee when you buy new ones. Best Buy partners with Electronic Recyclers International, which breaks down electronics into materials that can be repurposed for use in everything from fiber optic cables to airplanes.
2. Home Depot
Few retailers have as robust a recycling program as home improvement giant Home Depot, which recycles a variety of disposable products. The company partners with nonprofit recycling company Call2Recycle to recycle old lithium-ion batteries that customers can drop off at any of its locations. Home Depot also collects plastic bags, which it supplies to Trex, the composite decking manufacturer in turn uses the materials in the construction of its products. Home Depot also has recycling programs for compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulbs and cardboard boxes.
Not only will Staples recycle your old office supplies and electronics, they’ll also pay you for it. Through the Staples Rewards program, you can earn $2 back on every recycled ink or toner cartridge you bring to one of its more than 1,000 locations. The office supply giant will also pay you for certain used electronics, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops. In addition, they will take unwanted electronics and worn-out rechargeable batteries for free.
Similar to other retailers, Walmart will take your used cell phones, Bluetooth speakers, laptops, gaming consoles, tablets, and other devices through its trade-in program. What’s more, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home. Simply input info about the device on Walmart’s website, get an offer for it, then ship it for free via FedEx using a preprinted label—and you receive an instant Walmart gift card for your efforts.
The presence of mercury, cadmium, lithium, and lead in car batteries make these vital components of cars and trucks one of the more harmful products for the environment. Advance Auto Parts knows this, and therefore the company offers a nice incentive for bringing in your old battery once it dies. Take the worn-out battery to any Advance store and you’ll get a $10 gift card, which you can put toward the cost of a new battery or anything else in the store. The old batteries are then used to manufacture new ones.
While Apple’s products might be on the more expensive side when it comes to consumer electronics, they hold their value well. Apple makes it easy to cash in on that old iPhone, iPad, Macbook, or Apple Watch by allowing users to trade their devices in for store credit (Apple will also recycle other brands of electronics for free). If the device is in good shape, it will be refurbished and sold to a new owner. Those that can’t be reused go to one of Apple’s recycling partners, where they are broken down and recycled. Many iPhones end up with Daisy, Apple’s disassembly robot, which is designed to recover a device’s usable parts.
There are few better ways of getting rid of used but usable appliances, furniture, and building materials than Habitat ReStores. Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores has some 875 locations nationwide, all of which will take appliances, furniture, various household items, and even building materials. Habitat then resells these items in its store and uses the proceeds to build affordable homes for families. Habitat might not offer you a gift card for your stuff, but you can take tax deductions for your donations, since Habitat is a nonprofit organization.
Ever wonder where the used products Amazon sells come from? The online retailing behemoth will take your old electronics and devices, including Bluetooth speakers and headphones, home security devices, wireless routers, and gaming systems. The company will even reward you with gift cards for gently used electronics that it can refurbish and resell. Amazon also takes some products that are no longer functioning. The company will recycle a variety of electronic devices for free, even covering the cost to ship them via UPS.
Bedding, unmatched socks, old T-shirts—clothing retailer H&M will take all linens as part of the company’s recycling program. H&M collected more than 29,000 tons of textiles for recycling in 2019. The items were either cleaned and reused as secondhand clothing, turned into other products such as cleaning rags, or recycled into other products like insulation. The company will give you a discount card for 15 percent off purchases at their store with each bag of used linens you drop off there.