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How to Safely Dispose of Your Old Electronics

Tablets, smartphones and laptops have all gotten more affordable which means you can replace outdated devices much more quickly. However, that means you have old equipment you no longer use, which must be disposed of. It’s not safe to toss these items in the trash, so what can you do with them?

The Dangers of Electronics

Numerous chemicals are used in the production of electronics. Many of these chemicals and materials are hazardous to the environment and harmful to people, animals and plants. As these products are discarded into landfills, they break down and expose the harmful materials to the atmosphere and the ground. In many places, it’s now illegal to throw electronics in the regular trash and can result in a fine.

What to Do with Your Old Electronics

Instead of tossing your outdated electronics, you have several options. Some require almost no effort while others are a little more time-consuming. However, all of them will make you feel good about your decision to help the environment.

Give Them Back

Many electronics manufacturers will take back your old gadgets when you buy an updated version. They may even give you a discount on the new item for handing over the one you’ve been using. Ask about this option before you purchase the latest model.

Drop Off

Some recycling companies have locations for electronics drop offs and allow you to drop off small gadgets like cell phones or tablets, and they take the electronics and recycle them for reuse. Check out electronics stores, such as your local cell phone company to find out when and where they offer drop-off locations for electronics if they give you credit towards a new model in the future. Some stores sponsor special events for recycling while others provide this feature on a permanent basis.

Donate

What is outdated for you may not be outdated for someone who can’t afford the latest tech gadgets. Donating your old devices helps others who don’t have the money to buy brand new electronics. You can easily find charities in your own city or state that will take these devices off your hands. A bonus for you is the fact that these donations may be tax deductible.

Other organizations work with charities to donate items that still have use left. They can assist you in properly removing private data so you feel secure in getting rid of your electronics.

Another option is to talk to your local library or school to find out if they can use your outdated gadgets. Many of them don’t have the budget for brand new electronics and will be happy to accept slightly older items, especially in small towns.

Before you donate any electronic, make sure it has been wiped clean of all your personal information. You can check out your owner’s manual to find out how to erase everything before disposing of it. Even better, work with a recycling company who is up to date on the latest technology and the proper handling of these gadgets. Disposing of your old electronics in a responsible way is easy to do, good for the environment and it makes you feel good, too.

Read more tips about recycling here

Sources: [1] [2]

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