Even the greenest gadget can end up at the bottom of your closet if the manufacturer didn't take its entire lifecycle, including the end, into consideration during its design. Some companies design for the environment, some don't, and most take-back programs in the United States are voluntary. Research whether or not manufacturers have a producer responsibility (PR) or take-back program before purchase -- anything from a cell phone to computers to car parts can and should be recycled.
Even if recycling isn't in the cards, there are still green disposal options: reduce or reuse. Can you trade it in? Some retailers offer price reductions on new purchases when you have a trade. Can you donate it? Organizations such as the National Cristina Foundation match your donated technology with charities, schools and public agencies. Or perhaps the product is reusable. You know, in line with that old adage, "One man's trash…"