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How to Recycle Old Computer Monitors & Electronics for Cash

Ethan Blake

12 Minutes to Read
recycling computer monitors for money

Got a stash of used electronics and old monitors piling up? You’re not alone. With the constant churn of upgrades and new models, it’s easy to accumulate a growing collection of outdated tech. But before you resign yourself to being the neighborhood’s designated e-waste hoarder, here’s a thought: why not turn that digital detritus into dollars? That’s right, recycling computer monitors for money is totally a thing.

In this guide, we’ll explore the top ways to offload your old electronics responsibly and pad your wallet in the process. From trade-in programs to scrap metal recyclers, there are plenty of options for cashing in on your unwanted gadgets. So, let’s dive in and start decluttering your space and fattening your piggy bank.

Why Recycle Electronics & Monitors?

recycling computer monitors for money

First off, let’s talk about why recycling electronics matters. Sure, it’s tempting to just chuck that ancient monitor in the trash and call it a day. But here’s the thing: electronic waste (e-waste) is a massive and growing problem. We’re talking millions of tons of discarded phones, computers, TVs, and other devices ending up in landfills each year.

And it’s not just an eyesore. E-waste contains all sorts of toxic materials like lead, mercury, and cadmium that can leach into soil and water, harming the environment and human health. Plus, many electronics contain valuable metals like gold, silver, and copper that could be recovered and reused instead of mined from the earth at great cost.

By recycling your old electronics, you’re helping to:

  • Reduce electronic waste in landfills
  • Conserve natural resources
  • Prevent toxic chemicals from polluting the environment
  • Support the circular economy by providing raw materials for new products

How to Prepare Electronics for Recycling

Before you start hunting for places to offload your old tech, there are a few steps you’ll want to take to get your devices ready:

  1. Back up your data. Make sure you’ve copied any important files, photos, etc. from your old devices to a new computer or cloud storage. You don’t want to lose precious memories or documents.
  2. Wipe your data. To protect your privacy, use the factory reset option or data erasure software to wipe your devices clean of personal info before recycling them. Remove SIM and SD cards from phones.
  3. Disassemble if needed. Items like computers may need to be taken apart to separate the monitor, CPU, keyboard, etc. Check with your recycler to see what they prefer.
  4. Keep hazardous components separate. Some electronics like CRT monitors contain toxic substances and need special handling. Have these items ready to hand over separately.

Now that your digital discards are prepped and ready to go, let’s look at the top options for recycling computer monitors for money and other tech.

1. Electronics Trade-In Programs

One of the easiest ways to get value out of your old electronics is to trade them in for cash or gift cards through a retailer or manufacturer’s program. Many big names in tech offer trade-in options, such as:

  • Amazon Trade-In: Earn Amazon gift cards for eligible items like Kindles, tablets, streaming devices, Bluetooth speakers and headphones.
  • Apple Trade In: Get an Apple Store gift card for your old iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch. Devices with no trade-in value can be recycled for free.
  • Best Buy Trade-In: Turn old tech into Best Buy gift cards. They accept a wide variety of items, from phones and tablets to cameras, video games and more.
  • Dell Trade-In: Offset the cost of a new Dell computer by trading in your old desktop, laptop, monitor, phone or tablet for a Dell eGift card or account credit.

How much you can earn will depend on the type of device, its age, and condition. Newer, high-end gadgets in good shape will generally fetch the most money. Items that are very old or not working may have little to no trade-in value, but can still be recycled responsibly through these programs at no cost to you.

The process is usually pretty simple:

  1. Go to the retailer’s trade-in page and select your device
  2. Get an estimate for your item based on its specs and condition
  3. Ship your item for free or drop it off at a store location
  4. Receive a gift card or account credit once your item is received and verified

Trading in can be a good option if you’re looking to upgrade your tech anyway and would use a gift card with that retailer. You may not get as much as you would selling the item yourself, but it’s relatively low-effort.

2. Online Electronics Buyback Sites

recycling computer monitors for money

Another route for recycling computer monitors for money and offloading old devices is through online buyback marketplaces. These sites specialize in giving cash for used electronics, and some will even pay for items that are broken or outdated. A few popular options:

  • ItsWorthMore: Get paid by PayPal, Zelle or check for your smartphones, tablets, computers, smartwatches, and gaming consoles. They offer free shipping and promise to beat competitors’ prices.
  • Decluttr: This site buys your old cell phones, tablets, computers, gaming hardware and more. Just tell them what you have, ship for free, and get paid by direct deposit, PayPal or check.
  • BuyBackWorld: Earn cash for smartphones, tablets, computers, gaming consoles and other devices in any condition. They pay by check or PayPal and offer a highest price guarantee.
  • GadgetGone: Sell your used phones, tablets, MacBooks, iMacs and more for cash. Get a prepaid shipping kit, pack up your devices, and get paid by check or PayPal.
  • SellCell: This site compares buyback offers from multiple companies to get you the best deal on your old phones, tablets, smartwatches, and more.

The buyback process works similarly to trade-in programs:

  1. Search for your device on the site and answer a few questions about its specs and condition
  2. Get an offer and decide if you want to sell
  3. Ship your item to them (most cover shipping costs)
  4. Once they verify the item, you’ll get paid by the method you chose

Online buyback can be a good way to get quick cash for electronics without having to deal with the hassle of selling the item yourself. Just be sure to compare offers, as prices can vary from site to site.

3. Local Electronics Recyclers

For items that may not have resale value, like old CRT monitors, very outdated computers, broken devices, etc., recycling is still an eco-friendly option. And some local recyclers will even pay you for your e-waste.

To find a reputable e-cycler near you:

  • Check with your local government’s waste management department to see if they offer e-waste collection events or have a recycling center that accepts electronics.
  • Look up e-cyclers in your area and check their websites to see what items they accept, if they pay for certain materials, and any drop-off instructions.
  • Use Earth911’s Recycling Search to find e-waste recycling locations near you. Just enter your ZIP code and the type of device you want to recycle.
  • See if a participating retailer like Staples or Best Buy is hosting an electronics recycling event in your area.

A few things to keep in mind when recycling electronics locally:

  • Ask the recycler if they have any certifications like e-Stewards or R2 that verify they adhere to strict environmental and social standards for processing e-waste.
  • Be wary of any recycler that offers to pay high amounts for e-waste or tries to charge you a large recycling fee. Stick to well-established, reputable companies.
  • Make sure to wipe your devices of personal data before dropoff. While certified recyclers should handle your devices securely, it’s always best to protect your privacy.

Recycling electronics locally is a good option for items that are at the end of their useful life and can’t be resold or donated. And some recyclers may pay for certain computer components or precious metals. Just do your research to find a responsible recycler.

4. Sell Electronics Yourself

Of course, if you think your old tech still has some life left in it, you can always try to sell it yourself and potentially get more money than trade-in or buyback offers. Some options for selling electronics:

  • Online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace allow you to list your item and ship it directly to the buyer.
  • Local sales apps like OfferUp, LetGo, or Nextdoor are good for connecting with nearby buyers for in-person sales.
  • Specialty electronics marketplaces like Swappa (for phones and tablets) or Gazelle (for Apple devices) cater to tech-savvy buyers looking for used gadgets.

To get the most money from your sale:

  • Research prices for your specific device, accounting for its specs, condition, and market demand. Check completed eBay listings to see what similar items sold for.
  • Take high-quality photos showing the item’s condition. Be upfront about any scratches, dents or defects.
  • Write detailed descriptions noting the item’s features, storage capacity, cosmetic and functional condition, and any included accessories.
  • Price competitively based on your research to attract buyers, but don’t undersell yourself if the item is in great shape.
  • Be responsive to buyer questions and be sure to ship promptly and securely once the item sells.

Selling electronics yourself takes more time and effort than trade-in or buyback, but you may end up with more cash in your pocket, especially for high-value items in good condition. Just be cautious when selling locally and always meet in well-lit public places for transactions.

5. Donate Electronics for Tax Deductions

recycling computer monitors for money

If you’re less concerned about making money and more interested in helping others, donating your old electronics is a fantastic option. Not only does it keep them out of landfills, but it also provides access to technology for those who may not be able to afford it otherwise.

Some great places to donate:

  • Local schools, libraries, or community centers may be able to use your old computers, tablets, or other devices for educational programs or to provide access for patrons.
  • Charities like Goodwill and The Salvation Army accept old electronics and may offer job training programs in computer repair or sell them to fund their charitable work.
  • Reuse programs like Dell Reconnect (in partnership with Goodwill) and World Computer Exchange refurbish donated computers to give them to those in need, both locally and globally.

Before donating, make sure to:

  • Clear your devices of personal data and remove any batteries.
  • Check the organization’s website for their electronic donation guidelines and any item restrictions.
  • Get a receipt for your donation. You may be able to deduct the fair market value of your donated electronics on your taxes.

Donating electronics won’t put cash directly in your pocket, but it supports great causes. And if you’re able to claim a tax deduction, that’s more money back in your budget at the end of the year. Plus, it’s just a good feeling to know your old tech is put to use instead of gathering dust or adding to e-waste.

Comparing Electronics Recycling Options

Trade-In ProgramsConvenient, get retailer gift card or credit, free shippingLower payouts than selling yourself, limited to certain retailers
Online BuybackQuick cash for many types of devices, free shippingPayouts may be lower than selling yourself
Local RecyclersEco-friendly disposal, may pay for some itemsLimited to local options, may not pay much or at all
Selling YourselfPotentially higher profits, more control over pricingMore time and effort to list, ship and communicate with buyers
DonatingSupports good causes, keeps electronics out of waste stream, may get tax deductionNo direct profits, must itemize deductions to benefit on taxes


So, there you have it – the complete guide to recycling computer monitors for money and cashing in on your other old electronics in 2024. Whether you opt for trade-in credit, sell for top dollar, or donate to a good cause, you now have the info you need to responsibly and profitably retire your outdated devices.

The key is to jump on those buyback offers and recycling opportunities sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the less value your electronics are likely to have. And e-waste isn’t getting any smaller – the sooner we can collectively divert devices from landfills, the better.

So, gather up your digital relics and start converting them to cash (or at least karma points) today! Your wallet and the planet will thank you.

ALSO READ: 10 Places to Go Without Spending Money

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What types of electronics can I recycle for money?

A: Many devices can be recycled for cash, including cell phones, tablets, computers (laptops and desktops), monitors, gaming consoles, MP3 players, digital cameras, and more. Even broken or very old electronics may have some value to recyclers for parts or scrap.

Q: How much money can I get for recycling electronics?

A: The amount you can earn varies widely depending on the device type, brand, model, age, condition, and market demand. Newer, high-end devices like smartphones and gaming systems tend to have the highest resale value, while older items may only earn a few dollars or cents from recycling. Check trade-in, buyback, and local recycling options to compare offers for your specific devices.

Q: Are there any electronics recycling certifications to look for?

A: Yes, look for recyclers certified by either e-Stewards or R2 (Responsible Recycling). These certifications ensure the recycler adheres to strict environmental and social standards for processing e-waste safely and ethically. Certified recyclers are regularly audited to maintain their status.

Q: How can I tell if a recycler is legitimate?

A: Check for e-Stewards or R2 certification, read reviews online, and be wary of any recycler asking for large upfront recycling fees or offering prices that seem too good to be true. Stick to well-established retailers, manufacturers, and recycling companies to avoid scams.

Q: What should I do before recycling my electronics?

A: Before recycling any device, be sure to: 1) back up any data you want to keep, 2) sign out of any accounts and services, 3) unpair accessories like Bluetooth headphones, 4) remove any SIM or SD cards, and 5) perform a factory reset to erase your personal information. You may also need to remove batteries for separate recycling.


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Ethan Blake

Ethan Balke is a tech enthusiast whose passion for writing fuels his exploration into the world of AI, machine learning, and all things tech. With a knack for breaking down complex concepts into engaging and insightful content, Ethan aims to inspire and educate his readers. Committed to his craft, he continually pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved through writing, striving to make the ever-evolving tech landscape accessible to all.


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