Alice Truong


At the Consumer Electronics Show, a New Focus on Recycling Old Gadgets

Electronics recycling firm U.S. Micro opened a 130,000-square-foot facility just across town from the CES festivities.

The average consumer upgrades to a new phone every 18 months. When they do, they typically relegate their passé models—remember the once-ubiquitous Motorola RAZR?—to a junk drawer or a landfill.

At the Consumer Electronics Show, which takes place this week in Las Vegas, vendors, analysts, journalists, and consumers all are eyeing the next hot thing. The combination of technology refreshes and slick marketing have a way of making people find new gizmos they never knew they needed—the Consumer Electronics Association, which puts on the show, predicts consumers will spend a record $1 trillion on electronic devices in 2012. But noticeably absent from chatter about the latest and greatest is one major question: What will happen to the gadgets we no longer want?

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