TechBite: Recycle Your Electronics for Cash


By Steve Bass

More CES Discoveries

It’s unavoidable. With a desk covered with business cards, flyers, and dozens of flash drives filled with product information, CES is still on my mind. And because it is, here are more short takes on products you might find useful. Or not.

Recycle Electronics for Cash

Have a cell phone, iPod, or some other electronic gadget you don’t need? At CES, Gazelle was pitching everyone to recycle it and maybe get some cash. Head for their site and describe the item online, using Gazelle’s thorough form. If they’re interested, they’ll send you a postage-paid box, and once they examine the item, they’ll send a check or PayPal credit (or you’ll get a Costco cash card), your choice. One thing: Don’t expect the big bucks — an iPhone 3G 16GB in good condition gets you $65; my old LG 3280 wasn’t worth a dime. Use the “CES2011” code at checkout and increase your payment by 5 percent.

Cash in your old electronics with Gazelle.

Another option: Try FreeCycle Network, an international organization with local groups that help you get rid of your stuff. It’s free — just post a message on a local group’s list.

Get Recharged

You can buy four rechargeable Energizer NiMH batteries for about $10 on Amazon. For another $6, Energizer sells the batteries with a recharger. The recharger does the job on any pair of AA or AAA NiMH batteries, no matter the brand, and in my Bass International testing, it works just fine.

The display is a countdown clock and gauge, and while it’s hokey, I’ll admit that it’s cool. (It looks like the terrorist’s bomb clock in every episode of “24,” and the design leads me to believe it was created by Energizer’s marketing people.) The problem is it’s inaccurate. The charger flashed “8” when I put in two depleted Energizer batteries. Then, even though they took only two hours to recharge, the display went through its paces, counting down to “0” hours.

Energizer's recharger with a dopey display.

Cell Phone Radiation Reduced

Like you didn’t have enough to worry about, cell phone radiation is back in the news. Or at least in the minds of the Zeropa people. For $13, you can buy a little ditzel (in designer colors, of course) to stick on your phone. The oval-shaped patch, called a Zerofon, is “composed of a patented conductive ceramic material which studies have shown absorbs electromagnetic radiation.” Too bad you couldn’t take the captured radiation, download it using a USB connection, and resell the rads to, oh, I don’t know, maybe North Korea.

Youngster presumably using cell phone without Zerofon radiation absorber.

Ski and Snorkel with Photography Goggles

Forget about waterproof digital cameras. Liquid Image’s Explorer Series mask ($50), powered by two AAA batteries, lets you snorkel at up to 30 meters and take underwater photos or videos. It has a lens right above the tempered glass eye piece; click the red shutter button atop the mask and start shooting. Add $50 for prescription lenses. If you’d prefer to take your movies while skiing, try the Summit Series HD 720p ski goggles (about $250).

Take a picture -- or a video -- while you're snorkeling.

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2 thoughts on “TechBite: Recycle Your Electronics for Cash”

  1. I don’t think he needs to say it plain and loud I think it quite obvious. Especially downloading the captured electromagnetic radiation, Thats ridiculous, people who buy this product, when their zerofon is full or they are just worried that the radiated patch on the phone is radiating, they could just sell the zerofon to the North Koreans, let them worry about extracting the radiation

  2. Steve – re the Zeropa article – while your tone is humorous I suspect any of the addle-brained types who buy this pseudoscientific garbage will not detect your sarcasm. You need to say it plain and loud – this stuff is a scam. It was sad to see them quoting decent and reputable authorities such as Om Gandhi to “support” their nonsense. 1.6SARs indeed!

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