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How to recycle your unwanted gadgets

Getting ready to trade up to the latest and greatest technology? Instead of hiding your old mobile or laptop in the cupboard or throwing it in the trash, why not help the planet (and make a few bucks) by selling or donating it to one of the many new technology-recycling websites.

Each year the e-waste problem worsens. The lifespan of consumer electronics products is diminishing: the average computer is used for just two years before being replaced or updated.

In the past many consumers with old technology to get rid of have headed to popular trading sites such as eBay, Craigslist or put ads in local newspapers. While these tried and tested methods remain popular with consumers (and will probably end up getting you the best price for your unwanted tech), they are also some of the most time consuming and laborious ways of getting rid of old technology.

New websites offering to recycle your phones, laptops, TVs, MP3 players, cameras and camcorders are popping up all over the place.

On October 21 eBay announced it was launching its own electronics recycling project called eBay Instant Sale ( http://green.ebay.com/instantsale/).

"Our hope is for the program to not only bring electronics recycling to the mainstream, but put cash in the pockets of eBay buyers and sellers, and help to streamline the selling experience for them," said the company on its eBay Green Team blog.

"In less than five minutes, eBay-ers can plug in the name, make, and model of their device, answer a few simple questions about item condition, and get a cash offer instantaneously. If they accept the offer, a (free!) shipping label is generated, and the money will be in their PayPal account usually within a week after they ship it (to allow for the the product to be received and the condition verified) and voila!! Extra cash, just in time for the Holidays."

Other sites that will help you sell or recycle your old electronics products include:

For more information about recycling electronics visit: