We’ve all seen the advertisements begging us to recycle our used smartphones for cash. There are a plethora of electronics buyback companies vying for our attention, and though you have to do your homework, most of them are indeed keeping useful items out of the landfill.
Electronics are the fastest growing solid waste stream in the world, with researchers estimating that nearly 75 percent of old electronics are in storage, in part because of the uncertainty of how to manage the materials. While we may think that new gadgets are the problem, it’s important to remember that even common electronics still pose a disposal risk. A company out of Washington D.C. decided that if people can be convinced to recycle their phones for a little cash, the model might work with other appliances as well. Vac-Recycle is a new website that makes it easy to recycle your (you guessed it) vacuum and put a little cash back in your pocket at the same time.
The website is operated by Vacuums Unlimited, a family-owned small business in Virginia that has been in existence for over 30 years. The site is geared toward repairing and re-selling vacuums, and operates much like other electronics recycling websites: First, you fill out an online form with information about your vacuum (make, model, type, and condition of machine). Once you’ve got your confirmation number, you pack and ship the vacuum to the recycler. NOTE: unlike most electronics recyclers, Vac-Recycle does not pay for your shipping costs. If you live close to their brick-and-mortar location, drop-off service is encouraged.
Just browsing the site it looks like most vacuums are worth between $10 and $50. For every vacuum recycled, the company has pledged to plant a tree in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest in the user’s name. Also Vacuums Unlimited claims to be work with a recycling partner that has a 99% no-landfill policy, it acknowledges that certain parts (old filters, wooden roller brushes, nylon brush strips, etc.) can’t be recycled and will most likely be thrown away.