New electronics are always fun, the only question is, what do you do with the old stuff. Whether you’ve upgraded your cell phone, switched from a desktop to a laptop or finally replaced that aging TV, chances are, you’ve got some old electronics hanging around the house. You can’t (and shouldn’t!) just throw them away, so what are some green ways of dealing with them?
Many cell service providers offer bins right in their stores to collect old phones to be rehabbed and given to charity organizations. If you don’t see a bin, ask your provider. Or… Do a little online digging of your own. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence accepts used cell phones, as does Cell Phones for Soldiers and several other organizations.
Sell or trade in
If your equipment is still in reasonable condition and relatively new, trading it in might be an option. Some electronics can be sold. Items like e-readers or digital music players tend to be good bets, but vintage computer parts have a surprising following in the second hand market. Sites like Gazelle.com, YouRenew.com and Sell.com are good places to start.
If your old gizmos and gadgets are just too far gone to be worth even giving away, there is always the recycling option. The National Center For Electronics Recycling has a wealth of information about how to recycle your unwanted electronics, plus plenty of resources to help you find a recycling center in your area.
No matter what you choose to do with your old electronics, the one place they should never go is in the trash bin. Electronics contain materials that post environmental hazards when disposed of improperly. Before you donate, swap or sell your item, be sure you’ve completely backed up and removed all personal data that may have been stored on it.