I believe the correct recycling/decommission strategy for used electronics is to dump them in a landfill, with or without puppies, kittens and baby unicorns thrown in for good measure. Smashing them in a driveway with a ball-peen hammer before hitting the landfill is optional, but do know that it’s the only method proven to secure legacy data on such devices (short of encasing it in the material bowling balls are made of).
Unfortunately my worldview is being challenged today after I just traded in a gen 1 iPad for $200 (not a typo – two hundred) and my iPhone 4S for $
160 (ed. correction $145) as part of an absurdly high-ROI tech trade-in promo running at Target’s “mobile”-enabled locations. Check the link to find one near you, assuming you live in the first world. Said promo runs through 11/9 (Saturday), and it only applies if you do it in-store (the same iPad I got $200 for in-store would have only fetched ~$60 had I done it through Target’s web page). Lastly, try not to be discouraged by message board comments indicating this trade-in value is only good towards a new iPhone/iPad Air purchase @ Target — I had the Target gift cards in hand @ $145+$200+$7 prior to my decision to turn around and go back in to get the 5S.
Considering that Apple is selling new iPad Minis for said $200+$100, this is a little absurd (in a “good” way?) and clearly confirms the first gen iPads are filled with the radioactive stuff they use to assassinate political dissidents, journalists and expired spies in Russia. You have cancer? Sorry, you waived your right to the class-action lawsuit when you touched the Target gift card… If that’s not the case, it’s just more evidence that I don’t understand how business actually works and that it’s OK for me to continuing drawing squares on whiteboards for the remainder of my career.
$200 gen1 AT&T iPad credit + $160 iPhone 4S AT&T credit minus $180 (also promo) iPhone 5S 16GB AT&T minus $100 AppleCare for said 5S = I still had enough Target store credit to buy a frozen pizza, some pumpkin granola (Kelley) and a new puffy thing to wash off my filth in the shower.
The deal is so crazy Kelley is actually considering trading in her 4S which TargetMobileGuy said he’d give us $100 for (MyPoorLove:”… even though it’s still new”; me: It’s out of the box and it has a fingerprint on it == it’s trash).
I need to think about this as I’m nearly in a panic considering what else I shouldn’t smash and throw away given this new intelligence. I’ve put a temporary pause on my plans for a month-old Oral B electric toothbrush head, my nightstand and our furnace.
 used in this case meaning “used with no actual, high-value, non-anachronistic, potentially dedicated purpose”; a dedicated gen 1 iPad for the bathroom is still an iPad that won’t run the last two major iOS releases, i.e. it is less functional to me than the output of the reason I am in the bathroom
 the baby animals and the electronics
 turned in a iPhone 3G as well, for yucks