New program pays cash for e-waste



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Those with used electronics now can get some cash or help their community by trading them in with Idea Greenhouse or TradePort USA.

The Gadgets for Cash program recently launched in Durham and Somersworth.

"The program is centered around the fact the average household has 8 to 10 pieces of unused electronics," said TradePort USA Vice President Sam Biddle. "Instead of it going into the landfill, we're trying to repurpose it to another user."

Biddle said part of the idea was to increase revenue for the company while also helping people responsibly dispose of their electronic waste.

Each year, an estimated 20 to 50 million tons of e-waste is disposed of globally, according to Earth911.org. That number is likely to increase at three times the rate of other municipal waste, and although it only makes up about 1 to 4 percent of municipal waste, it may be responsible for up to 70 percent of heavy metals in landfills, including lead. The Gadgets for Cash program allows used electronics the opportunity to have a second life or be disposed of properly.

Newer items may have a higher trade-in value. A laptop, mobile phone, computer monitor or digital camera could have a potential resale value of at least $50, depending on its condition.

Other older items that TradePort USA may not be able to resell can still be dropped off to the center, but Biddle said they would probably have to charge a nominal fee to dispose of the item for the customer.

Traders who wish to contribute their resale proceeds to Idea Greenhouse can help support its programming and community-building projects. Idea Greenhouse is a membership-based office for professionals, entrepreneurs and innovators looking for a flexible space to work and meet.

"Our partnership will remove electronic waste from local landfills and bring needed resources and attention to our community growing great ideas in downtown Durham," said Tom Elliot, founder and director of Idea Greenhouse.

For more information, call Idea Greenhouse at 603-995-1666 or e-mail TradePort USA at recycle@tradeportusa.com.

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