Consumer Reports: Earth Day & old electronics

Consumer Reports: Earth Day & old electronics »Play Video

CONSUMER REPORTS -- Got an old computer stashed in a storage room? Or an ancient cell phone junked in a kitchen drawer? Just in time for Earth Day, Consumer Reports ShopSmart magazine has some advice on what to do with old electronics and maybe make money in the process.

If your gadget is new enough, you can actually turn it in for cash or a gift card. In ShopSmart’s search, a Samsung Galaxy S 2 fetched $94 and an Apple iPad 2, ­­$190.

ShopSmart found the website Glyde often quoted the highest prices. Amazon proved best for random gadgets, like hard drives and speakers. And, NextWorth allows you to send items in, or drop them off at stores including Target.

ShopSmart says that you really have to check different sites, at different times because prices vary from site to site, and prices can change over time. If the price you’re offered doesn’t seem worth it, consider a donation. Cristina.org connects you with local organizations that accept old electronics.

Of course, some items are just not wanted by anyone. But you should still recycle them responsibly. Stores such as Staples and Best Buy will take old computers off your hands. Or drop them off at a local recycling center. At the very least, you can keep more junk out of the landfills.

Whatever you do with your old electronics, be sure to wipe them clean of all your personal data first.