Here’s What To Do Instead When You Don’t Want To Throw Your Old Tech

There are better spots for your old tech than the landfill. A laptop keyboard lays atop the main board, detached from its body.

When you discover yourself with a lot of electronic junk you desire in your home, it can be rigid to deduce how to dispose of it properly. Chucking it in the trash is dangerous to the environment, but it also might be against the law relying on what you require to dispose of.

However, there are many opportunities to safely and responsibly get rid of old tech. If your tech’s still in a fair working situation, you might even be able to get paid to apiece with it.

  • Schedule your old tech for recycling or donation
  • Female hands are inserting batteries into remote closeup. Repair of household appliances concept

Before you grant or recycle old tech, take care to package it safely to prevent any mishaps.

Tech can have sensitive data, such as your social security number or bank login information. To save your data safe, either remove or wipe any storage drives in the device before disposing of. 

If you have a poor battery that you require to dispose of, you’ll want to take a few precautions for your safety and the environment’s safety. 

First, the United States Environmental Protection Agency suggests you tape the conductive ends of batteries with non-conductive tape (electrical tape, for example) and put disposable batteries in a plastic bin or container. It lowers the risk of a blaze.

For lithium-ion batteries, do NOT perforate or otherwise damage them because it’s a severe fire hazard. If you own a damaged lithium-ion battery already, take it to your closest e-waste disposal site or tech repair shop as momentarily as possible.

  • Donate your old tech to charity
  • A person slips a laptop into a laptop sleeve
  • If you’ve outgrown your existing tech gear, consider passing it off for a charitable reason.

If you like to get rid of tech that’s still in good condition, you should peek into donating it. Many organizations worldwide bring used tech to those who require it, and your donation may be tax-deductible. The World Computer Exchange, The National Christina Foundation, and Computers with Causes are three programs that offer used tech to underprivileged and underserved populations in the US.

If you like to get more dynamic with your community, go out to your local school district, library, city council, or other public assistance to see if they deliver programs to redistribute used tech to those who require it. For example, Massachusetts directly provides funding for towns and cities to enforce reuse and repair programs. If you don’t have these opportunities available or require a quick, straightforward way to drop them off and go, you can donate your old tech to thrift shops like Goodwill.

  • Take advantage of takeback and buyback programs.
  • Waste electrical and electronic equipment
  • Many factories have buyback or takeback programs that include more extensive appliances like stoves and refrigerators.

To facilitate e-waste and make your life more comfortable, many tech companies will take or buy your used tech. For instance, if you’ve purchased a cell phone recently, you might have been offered cash for your old phone from your new phone manufacturer.

The Electronics Takeback Coalition (ETC) lists takeback programs that provide more details on program specifics and their sustainability effect.

To know which schedules maximize their sustainability, keep an eye out for e-Steward certified plans, which pledge to not export e-waste to developing nations (a common practice that shares the burden of waste processing and its byproducts onto already weak populations). For example, Staples operates an e-Steward certified takeback schedule if you have one nearby.

Staples and Best Buy hold takeback programs for a significant host of tech, from tablets to vacuums, either free or for a modest rebate. In addition, you can often go directly into a store and request their takeback programs for most more diminutive tech like laptops and cell phones—no requirement to schedule a drop-off. Many manufacturers also deliver direct takeback and buyback programs through mail-in services or collaborations with retailers.

The Environmental Protection Agency has an inventory of different manufacturers and companies that will take your tech, and you can sort by item classification. This list is convenient if you want to know which retailers offer mailing and pick-up opportunities for more unique tools, like office photocopy machines.

Unfortunately, not all tech is fixable, and no issue how eco-conscious you are about your tech, you will end up with e-waste you require to dispose of properly. Common e-waste includes exhausted single-use batteries, damaged monitors, and computer hardware.

If you must use a battery, either standalone or within a product, you cannot merely throw it in your trash or recycling bin. Numerous batteries can damage their local environment or become a fire hazard once they’re reached the end of their life cycle, so proper disposal requires specialized waste services.

The major exception is single-use alkaline batteries, which can be legally tossed in with your regular garbage everywhere in the United States except for California. However, we strongly prompt you to take your used alkaline batteries to a recycling dumping bin or center.