As one year ends and another begins, it’s time to consider the consequences of holding on to  electronics you no longer use. As technological innovation skyrockets, more and more consumers are buying into the the convenience and assurance that electronic devices bring with them. But these advances also create e-waste. The results are hard to miss. At this very moment, the e-waste in your home or office may be increasing with no end in sight. Thankfully, there is a solution, and it’s called recycling. In fact, there are several ways to reduce e-waste this holiday season. In addition to recycling,  buy back programs and donating seem to be the leaders of the pack. Here are seven ways to reduce e-waste this holiday season.

1. Responsibly Discard Old Cell Phones

Did you know you can take your old cell phones to several retail stores for recycling collection? Most cell phone servicers such as Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile already have programs in place for consumers to return old devices to the store for responsible recycling so be sure to ask about details. Beyond cell phone servicers, stores like Best Buy and Staples also make it easy to discard old phones. Best Buy even offers convenient drop-off slots in the lobby of most of their stores for cell phones as well as other mobile devices like tablets and phone cords and chargers. The best thing about it – it’s all free.

2. Responsibly Discard Old Appliances

It may seem like a chore to get rid of an old appliance, but refrigerators, freezers, stoves microwaves and more are just as much in need of responsible recycling as other, smaller devices. It’s best to keep abreast of ways to responsibly discard these, especially if newer items are on the way or already in place. The increase of recycling programs around the country is making it a lot easier to properly dispose large appliances. Understandably, it’s still illegal in most states to set these out curbside or dump them in a clandestine abandoned lot, but if you can find a responsible recycler, large devices need virtually no preparation for drop-off. However, in some cases, liquids or refrigerants in fridges and freezers must first be removed, so it’s wise to be sure. In addition, you may be able to receive cash or rebates on certain brands of appliances. Energy Star, the EPA voluntary energy efficiency program, offers special rebates on its appliances when they’re responsibly returned for disposal.

3. Responsibly Discard Old Computers

Clunky computers from the 80’s era advent of technological are the behemoth versions of today’s sleek, new consoles and flat screens, but they may still be lingering in garages and closets around the US. If your home or office has become a bit of a tech graveyard consider reducing the e-waste by donating, repairing or recycling. Even newer model desktops and laptops need proper disposal. These often contain hazardous materials such as lead and mercury, as well as valuable precious metals such as gold and silver that can be harvested for reuse. Definitely don’t toss these devices in the trash or dump them illegally. For information on retailers that collect old computers for free, check out this convenient EPA list.

4. Participate in Mail Back Programs

A number of electronic recyclers may have in place certain programs that allow a device to be mailed back to the recycling center for proper disposal. These programs tend to focus on small electronics such as cellphones and tablets, and come in handy when you live outside of driving distance from the nearest electronic recycling center. The program may even offer convenient packaging and shipping supplies for safe and sustainable shipping.

5. Participate in Buy Back Programs

Another useful program during the holidays is the buy back programs offered at electronics retailers and through a number of electronics manufacturers. For instance, Sprint offers its buy back program for all mobile devices and allows customers to receive up to $300 in credit. In fact, most buy back programs offer either store credit or a percentage discount on the sale of a new device in exchange for an old electronic device. The latter is true for Apple, which offers 10% off a new device when any old Apple device is brought in for exchange. The benefits possible through most buy back programs depend heavily on the condition of the device. The value of your buy back may also depend on the particular model you’re offering as well as supply and demand. Check out the program over at Half Price Books. It offers cash for old electronics which are then donated to non-profits or sent for responsible recycling.

6. Trade-in Your Device

Yet another option is to trade in your old electronic device for a new device. Trade-in programs different from buy backs in that credit and discounts are typically not included. Rather, the old device works much like a vehicle trade-in exchange, where the retailer or manufacturer can offer an offset price for the trade. Again, these exchanges depend heavily on the condition of the device at the time of the trade. GameStop, Dell and Microsoft all have trade-in programs in place.

7. Donate Your Electronics

The EPA wisely recommends donating your electronics as a way to safely and responsibly discard them after use. The agency’s SMM Electronics Challenge Program offers a number of opportunities for electronics donations through a network of participants throughout the country. Participants are manufacturers and businesses committed to collecting electronic devices for recycling via a certified recycler. Apart from the SMM Challenge, there may be a non-profit in your area willing to take on an old computer, television or other electronic device that is in good working condition. Most of these donations are tax-deductible depending on the tax status of the organization, so be sure to inquire first.

Reduce E-waste This Holiday Season

There is no time as busy as the holiday season when the old becomes new and a new year begins. It’s also a time to seriously consider disposing and discarding your outgoing e-waste in a responsible way. Considering that e-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the nation, safely discarding your e-waste during the holidays is a smart move for all of us.