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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - People are replacing their cell phones, televisions, and computers on a massive scale making consumer electronics the fastest growing waste product in the country.
These devices contain heavy metals that can be harmful to the environment and costly to recycle. In today's More Bang For Your Buck we'll show you how some stores are enticing consumers to cash in on their old gadgets.
With Radio Shack's trade and save program you get store credit for your old gadgets. Store Manager Darrell Joppy sees cell phone trade-ins the most.
"We do an appraisal here on the computer. You want to make sure that the phone can power up, there's no type of visible damage to the outside of the phone, we also check to make sure there is no water damage to the phone," said Joppy.
To get the most money out of your old phone, be sure to bring the power cord. Radio Shack will take up to five devices at a time.
"If we can't find the actual phone on our list we do give you a recycling price of $10," Joppy said. "So you're getting some value for that phone that you haven't used for the past two years."
Staples recycles millions of ink and toner cartridges each year and reward members can cash in on the program.
"Our customers can bring back 10 ink and toner cartridges per month we give them a $3 credit for each one," said Mary Chellman, General Manager of Staples.
Best Buy began its "E-Cycling" program a few years ago and accepts almost anything electronic. You can bring in three items a day but for larger items like TV's over 32 inches and computer monitors there is a fee.
"It's ten dollars but we offset that with a ten dollar gift card here to the store," said Best Buy Customer Solutions Manager Bryan Pope.
For privacy reasons you'll need to remove hard drives from computers and wipe all contact info from cell phones before recycling them. You can also unload your old batteries, cell phones and ink cartridges for free at their in store recycling kiosk.