CNN Underscored partnered with Decluttr to create this content. When you make a purchase, CNN receives revenue. CNN news staff is not involved at all in the selections or product reviews. For more on what we do and how we do it, visit our About Us page.
The world isn’t just facing a waste crisis — it’s choking on it. Seemingly every minute of every day, we’re encouraged by ads, friends, social media and FOMO to plunk down premium dollars for a shiny new thing that will change your life, only to go through the exact same thing the next year for the next big thing. All the while last year’s gadget ends up collecting dust at the back of a closet, or worse, taking up space in a landfill.
Unfortunately, we can’t just shoot all our trash into the sun. And even if we could, it wouldn’t solve the problem of our rapidly depleting natural resources. However, Decluttr is here to help by providing an easy to way to recycle your unwanted tech.
Tech’s trash problem
For all its cutting-edge convenience and forward thinking, the tech industry has a really old-school problem on its hands: It’s incredibly wasteful. Every year, according to the United Nations, the world belches out 20 million to 50 million metric tons of waste from electronic and electrical equipment — more than the weight of every single commercial airplane ever built combined. Of that, only one-fifth is properly recycled. Out of every 10 cellphones ever bought in the US, only one is recycled. The other 130 million that we outgrow every year? Simply tossed in the trash.
The first problem is overflowing landfills. The second is what it takes, in terms of energy and nonrenewable resources, to build all those new gizmos to replace the old ones.
The energy required to make a new computer is responsible for 81% of the energy it’ll use in its entire lifetime. And each time a company makes a new phone, that manufacturing process uses up rare earth metals that can’t be replaced. The mining of those metals for that new phone alone basically accounts for as much as 95% of the carbon dioxide emissions associated with its manufacture and use for the first two years. Every new phone you buy sucks up as much energy in its manufacturing and distribution as keeping an old phone running for 10 years.
Rethinking the cycle
The key, of course, is to stop the cycle of constant consumption and perpetual waste, and among the groups trying to get us out of that self-destructive rhythm is Decluttr, giving consumers a smart and easy way to recycle any old tech.
Decluttr’s process is simple, commonsense and beneficial to everyone involved — and the planet. The company buys your old tech — smartphones, tablets, laptops, wearables, game consoles — and pays you top dollar for it (up to 33% more than buy-back programs from your cellphone carrier).
Then it takes your old stuff, wipes all your data, refurbishes it and sells it (with a free 12-month warranty) at a fraction of its retail price — so someone who might have bought a new phone is putting your old one to good use instead.
Decluttr pays in cash, rather than store credit. In other words, you can use your money for something besides creating new tech. And you don’t have to wait long, as the Decluttr app and website can give you an instant valuation for your old tech and media, and then you get paid the day after Decluttr receives your stuff (shipping your items to Decluttr is totally free too). If, upon seeing your tech in person, Decluttr realizes it has to change the price it can offer, you can choose to get your item back free of charge.
You can rest assured that you’re getting more than a fair price for the computers and phones that you no longer have use for, and more importantly, that you’ve done your part to keep the tech-industry waste to a minimum for as long as possible. If refurbishing isn’t an option, your tech is responsibly recycled, with parts reused to revitalize other items, and kept safely out of our bulging landfills.
You have a lot of choices about what to do with your old tech every time you upgrade, from letting it sit in a box to tossing it in the trash to finding it a new home where it’ll be used responsibly. Decluttr makes that last choice a lot easier and has helped over 6 million satisfied customers rid themselves of their old stuff in a sustainable way and make money doing it. It’s a trusted, well-reviewed company that wants to help make the world a better, less cluttered place, while benefiting those who make the right choices.