Technology is an important part of our daily lives. Whether your computer has reached the end of its lifecycle or you want to upgrade your tablet, at some point or another you’re going to have old, broken, or outdated technology to get rid of.

How do you dispose of your electronic waste responsibly?

Delete Your Personal Data

Before you think about recycling, selling, or donating your devices, be sure that all personal information is securely and completely wiped from the storage. This is an important step to protect your privacy.

Research Local Recycling Options

Look into local electronic recycling facilities or collection events in your area. Check with your local government or electronic manufacturers for information on available recycling programs.

Choose Certified Recyclers or Recycling Centers

These options adhere to environmental and ethical standards. You can find the nearest places to recycle your electronics through e-stewards.org. An R2 Certified facility will ensure any used electronics are processed responsibly and Call2Recycle offers drop-off locations for rechargeable batteries and cell phones nationwide.

Donate Functioning Devices

If your electronics are still in good working condition, consider donating them to charitable organizations. Check for organizations in your local area that may benefit, such as local schools, libraries, adult education and employment programs, domestic violence shelters, senior centers, etc. There are also national nonprofits that collect used electronics. Some of these include Computers with Causes, Secure the Call, Salvation Army, DellReconnect, World Computer Exchange, eBay for Charity, and more.

Sell to Individuals or Online Companies

You can sell your tech directly to another individual through sites such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor, or eBay. For a hassle-free sale, you may want to consider places like Swappa, DeCluttr, or GadgetPickup. You’ll fill out a questionnaire and then be offered a price.

Participate in a Take-Back or Trade-In Program

Some electronics manufacturers offer take-back or trade-in programs, where you can return your old devices for recycling or swap for credits/gift cards. Check with the original equipment manufacturer to see if they have such a program. Best Buy, Amazon, Apple, Verizon, Samsung, Sprint, Walmart, Office Depot, and Staples are good places to start.

One final thing to consider: make sure you dispose of your batteries properly. Batteries contain harmful materials, so it’s important they are handled in the correct manner. Many electronics recycling centers accept batteries separately. If your local recycling center does not handle batteries, seek out dedicated battery recycling programs.

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