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Debbie's Deals: How to recycle computers, VCRs, printers, cell phones and other electronics for free

Posted at 12:30 PM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-04 19:06:50-04

Got an old computer you want to get rid of? A broken VCR? A printer?

Under Colorado law, you can't just throw these items in the trash anymore. And while the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has a website with recycling information, they also warn that you should, "expect to pay a recycling fee."

However, I found a way to recycle many of these items for free.


Best Buy will recycle computers, keyboards, laptops, laptop batteries, DVD players, VCRs, projectors, TiVOs, vacuums, rechargable batteries, cell phones and radios, ink and toner, CDs, DVDs, PC games, cameras and camcorders and other items FOR FREE.

They do charge $25 for each TV and computer monitor they recycle for you.

There are limits on some items, such as Best Buy will only take three batteries per person, per day. See the details on what Best Buy recycles, what it limits and more information about the program on Best Buy's website.


Staples also recycles computers, satellite receivers, calculators, camcorders, CD/DVD/Blu-ray players, computer speakers, desktop copiers, cordless phones and much more.

Unlike, Best Buy, Staples will recycle computer monitors for FREE. (But Staples does not take televisions.)

See the list of what Staples takes and its limits on the Staples website.

Some items, like tablets, mobile phones, iPods and eReaders may be trade-in eligible. Read more about the trade-in program here.


Goodwill takes computer equipment and electronics, but no TV's.

"Our the warehouse at Goodwill headquarters is R2:2013 Certified and all donated computers, cell phones etc. are wiped clean of data, according to Department of Defense standards," said Jessica Hudgins Smith, PR & Digital Media Manager. "It’s absolutely free to donors! All donors have to do is drop off their electronics at any Goodwill retail store or donation center. "

Learn more about the Good Electronics program here.


Two readers suggested other companies that recycle electronics, they are:

Blue Star Recyclers in Denver and Colorado Springs. Lisa said they are a great company doing great things.

PC & Parts in Loveland. Kim said they will recycle computers, parts, accessories, cables and printers for free. They take flat screen monitors for free too, but they don't take CRT monitors or really large office printers.

Note, if you're recycling a computer, laptop, phone or other item with personal information on it, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment warns that "simply deleting files and reformatting the hard drive doesn't guarantee all your data will be destroyed. Use special disk-wiping software designed to protect sensitive data or remove your hard drive and destroy it."

Thanks to Polly, Lisa, Linda and Kim for their help with this information. If you find a place to recycle a TV for free, e-mail me, Debbie (

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