amp.jpg If you love to listen to music at home or in your car, chances are you have a stereo amplifier. When that piece of equipment dies or you decide to upgrade, how can you get rid of it? Is it possible to recycle it? Non-reusable stereo amplifiers can be recycled with other types of electronic equipment, which is getting easier to recycle all the time. Reusable stereo amplifiers may be able to earn you some cash – perhaps enough to take a bite out of the price of a new one. Read on for more details about how to recycle stereo amplifiers.

What is a stereo amplifier?

Amplifiers take sounds and do two important things with them. First of all, they make the sounds louder. They do this by providing power to the equipment receiving the sound so it can amplify them. Second, they improve the quality of the sound. This is the harder part of their job and is accomplished through advanced technology. The website Explain That Stuff has a good analogy to explain how stereo amplifiers work. Imagine a hearing aid, which collects all the sounds around you and transmits them to your ear. The hearing aid makes the sounds louder so you can actually hear them. But the hearing aid also filters out some of the white noise. That makes those sounds not just easier to hear, but also easier to understand. Stereo amplifiers work with car stereo systems, at-home stereos and entertainment centers. You also need amplifiers with certain musical instruments such as electric guitars. Because of the advanced technology required to make them work, amplifiers can be quite pricey.

How to recycle stereo amplifiers

Stereo amplifiers count as electronic equipment. As a result, they should be recycled with other e-waste such as computers, televisions, cell phones and electronic toys. Best Buy accepts audio equipment for recycling at many of its stores. You do not have to purchase a new item before recycling your old one. Just visit the location nearest you and place your stereo amplifier in the recycling bin (it is always a good idea to check with your specific location before making the trip with your recyclable goods). As more people realize why recycling e-waste is so important, more communities are opening permanent facilities to accept electric equipment. They are often co-located with household hazardous waste centers, so you can drop off items like compact fluorescent light bulbs and pesticides at the same time. Hours and policies for these collection centers vary by location, so make sure you look them up online before visiting them. The e-waste collection center in Napa is open every day, while a similar center in Greensboro, North Carolina, is only open four days a week. Some places still accept e-waste only on special collection days. On Hawaii’s Big Island, the solid waste district offers six collection days per year. Pasadena advertises regular special e-waste collection events (which coincide with paper shredding days – again, accomplish two tasks in one trip!). Sometimes nonprofits, schools and private businesses offer special e-waste collection events as well. Those can be a great opportunity to recycle a stereo amplifier. There are several websites that can help you identify e-waste recycling centers in your community. One is RecycleNation’s Recycle Search tool. E-Cycling Central has a map that allows you to click on your state and look for recyclers near you. All Green Recycling is based in California but shares information about e-waste recycling locations all over the country.

Resell your stereo amplifier

If your old stereo amplifier works as good as new, someone out there probably wants it. See if you can sell it on Craigslist or a similar site in your community. You can peruse other, similar postings to find out how much you should charge. If you do not mind selling your stereo amplifier to a buyer who is out of the area, try a website like U.S. Audio Mart, which calls itself the largest free audio equipment classified site in the country. There is a similar site specifically for car stereo amplifiers called Car Audio Classified. Stereo stores that specialize in electronics may be able to sell your old stereo amplifier on consignment, or buy it from you and sell it themselves. A thrift store or other secondhand shop may also be interested in the equipment. Do you or someone you know volunteer with a music or theater organization? Sometimes they are hunting for inexpensive sound equipment. Donate your stereo amplifier to them or sell it at a price they cannot refuse. Electronic recycling organizations and thrift stores may also be interested in donated stereo amplifiers. This can be a good last option if you have no other way of disposing of your equipment. Not all thrift stores will accept electronic goods because they may have to pay to throw them away. Check with them before dropping off stereo amplifiers.

Make a stereo amplifier from recycled parts

Once you have recycled any old stereo amplifiers, make new ones instead of buying them. Several sites have instructions for crafting your own stereo amplifiers out of recycled materials or kits with new materials. Instructables gives instructions for making a stereo amplifier from a metal box and a speaker salvaged from a television, or an old iPod dockDIY Audio Parts is one of many sites that sells kits so you can make amplifiers at home.