Would you like to help a worthy cause by donating your old cell phones, iPods or other electronic gadgets? Here are some companies that will put your old dust collectors to good use.

HopePhones (hopephones.org)

Every cell phone given to community health workers connects distant patients to a medical clinic. A $10 cell phone will give 50 families access to emergency medical care, health information, transport services, and clinic resources.

When your old phone is received by the recycling center, it is given a value. They will use this value to purchase appropriate, usable cell phones for community health workers at the medical clinics. The average donated phone in the US will allow them to purchase 2-3 cell phones for clinics.

Reconnect (reconnectpartnership.com)

Reconnect is a residential computer recycling program that offers an easy, convenient and responsible way to recycle your used computer equipment. You can drop off any brand of used equipment at participating Goodwill donation centers in your area.

It's free, and you'll get a receipt for tax purposes. What's more, you'll be helping protect the environment and benefiting your community at the same time.

In general, Reconnect accepts any brand of computer equipment in any condition from consumers and recycles it for free. They will also accept just about anything that can be attached to a computer. Check their web page for a complete list of what they will and will not accept.

Use the "Find a Location" feature to see if a Goodwill near you participates in the program. If Reconnect is not yet available in your area, let them know. Goodwill and Dell are working to continue expanding the program and share a long term goal of making it available nationwide.

As a general rule, consumers can just drop off the item(s) at any participating Goodwill. However, some items may require extra preparation before you bring them in. For details, check out the "items we accept" page.

Feel good about what you've done. Your donated equipment has value, sometimes as a whole system, sometimes as parts, and sometimes as raw materials such as metals, plastics and glass. The proceeds from your donation are all returned to Goodwill and help to support Goodwill's important mission of putting people to work. You'll get a receipt for tax purposes, plus you'll be helping to protect the environment and benefit your community at the same time!

Goodwill (goodwill.org)

Goodwill accepts your new or gently used items like clothing, appliances, electronics and furniture, and sells them in their well-known Goodwill retail stores.

The sales of your donations help fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges.

Phones 4 Charity (phones4charity.org)

Phones 4 Charity is a national program designed to remove used cell phones from the country's environment while directly benefiting charitable organizations. Their cell phone recycling program is designed to help enable charities & organizations raise funds when monetary donations from individuals and corporations are receding.

For donations of 30 or more phones, Phones 4 Charity will arrange shipping for you. For donations of less than 30 phones, follow 3 easy steps to send your phone.

1. Make sure that the service on your phone has been disconnected and that any personal information you may need has been copied.

2. Address either a padded envelop or a box to Phones 4 Charity (you can find their address on the website). Be sure to include detailed contact information including the charity you wish to donate to.

3. Drop your package off at your local post office or shipping center.

Non-working phones will be recycled. If your donated phone cannot be reused as a service phone or for 911 call capability, it will be recycled in accordance with federal and local environmental standards for its metal and plastic components.

You can also check with other charitable organizations in your community to find out if they accept cell phones and other electronic items.

City Recycling Programs

If you are unable to find anyone interested in your aging gadgets, contact your local waste hauler or city hall to find out about their recycling programs.

If you are interested in selling your old cell phones and electronic items, please see:

Where to Sell or Recycle Old Cell Phones, iPods, and Other Electronic Gadgets