How to Recycle an Old Digital Camera

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Updated July 26, 2022

If you have recently replaced an old camera with a new one, you may be wondering how to recycle an old digital camera. Even the best digital cameras fail eventually, regardless if you’ve consistently updated the digital camera. It just may need to be recycled. Keep reading to find out about recycling options, recycling centers, and other ways to dispose of old cameras.


  • Your best bet when it comes to recycling an old digital camera is to contact an electronics recycling program or service.
  • These recycling centers may charge a nominal fee, but they will take any electronic gadget, including cell phones.
  • Another option is to sell the camera, donate it to a thrift store, or give it away to friends or family.

Why Recycle an Old Digital Camera?

We recognize it may be hard to part with one of your beloved electronic devices, particularly if you just learned how to put a strap on a digital camera. There are many reasons why you would recycle an old digital camera. If it stops functioning, for instance, you will want to recycle it. Digital cameras often include rechargeable batteries and other components that can easily turn into electronic waste. It is for this reason that you should recycle, sell or, give away instead of simply throwing it in the trash.

Insider Tip

Call ahead to make sure the recycling center is open and accepting new submissions.

How to Recycle or Get Rid of an Old Digital Camera

There are a number of ways you can effectively recycle an old digital camera. Here are just a few.

Recycling Centers

There are numerous recycling centers that specialize in electronics, so it is likely an electronics recycling program is located near you. Find one online or via the phone book and give them a call to ensure they are open. These centers are great for recycling cameras, cell phones, memory cards, video equipment, audio equipment, and various other electronic devices.

Sell or Give Away

If your camera functions, even if it has a few issues, a better bet may be to sell it or give it to a friend or family member. A close friend may be elated when you give them your old digital camera and teach them how to remove the IR filter from a digital camera.

There are many online forums and online marketplaces where you can sell a digital camera and you can just set up a group text with friends and family to see if anyone wants it. Even a broken digital camera can include valuable materials which may be of use to someone out there. You never know.


Some recycling centers will charge a nominal fee for recycling any gadget, including a digital camera, so as to better dispose of toxic materials. However, some places may actually pay a few bucks for a camera.


How much money can I get from recycling cameras?

If you are recycling old digital cameras to get rich, you will have a lot of work to do. Count on collecting, at best, just a few dollars for each camera. At worst, the recycling center will charge you money for the service.

What metals do digital cameras contain and where are they found?

The only reason a recycling center would pay for you to drop off a camera is if they contain precious metals. The printed circuit boards can contain gold, silver, and aluminum in trace amounts.

What items are not accepted as electronics?

Those electronics recycling centers offer a comprehensive list of services, but not all items are accepted. These include VHS videotapes and cassette audiotapes.

STAT: A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study estimated that about 3.09 million tons of TVs, video equipment, cell phones, and computer equipment were ready for recycling, reuse, or disposal in 2015. Of those, only 40 percent were actually recycled. (source)

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