How to Responsibly Dispose of Your Electronics (2023)

One factor to be aware of when trying to restore a telephone, laptop computer, or one other gadget with a battery inside is to drain the battery earlier than you open it up. For repairs on main white-good home equipment, rubber gloves and rubber-soled boots can decrease the chance of getting shocked. 

If you lack the arrogance to try repairs, you’ll be able to doubtless discover a good native restore store by studying evaluations. The Federal Trade Commission found that unbiased restore retailers have the identical success price and security file as producer retailers. Many producers have discouraged repairs with the menace of guarantee voiding, however victories for the Right to Repair movement have led to tech getting slightly more repairable.

Just watch out to back up and shield delicate knowledge in your units earlier than handing them in at restore retailers. Some units would possibly actually have a built-in answer. For instance, Samsung telephone house owners can activate Maintenance Mode earlier than handing a tool off to be certain that images and accounts can’t be accessed. 

Sell or Trade

You could make some cash for those who promote previous units. Even damaged units could be bought for elements, although you’ll all the time command a better charge for those who clear and restore them first. You can even rating a reduction off one thing new with trade-in or buyback schemes. We have guides on how to sell or trade in your iPhone (keep in mind to factory reset it first) and how to sell your smartwatch or fitness tracker.

You can typically command the best charges by promoting immediately to individuals via eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or Nextdoor. Just keep in mind that you will want to organize supply or meet up to trade the products, and consumers usually like to haggle. 

For a hassle-free sale, think about locations like Swappa, DeCluttr, or GadgetPickup. These varieties of consumers use on-line questionnaires to decide a worth and sometimes present free postage. Shop round and see who gives the very best worth, however be trustworthy in your descriptions, or chances are you’ll discover that your quote will get decreased after inspection. 

Take-back or trade-in applications are one other simple choice, although you most likely gained’t make as a lot as you’d via a sale, and sometimes you would possibly get your charge as retailer credit score. Best Buy, Amazon, Verizon, Samsung, Walmart, and plenty of others supply trade-ins on electronics.


If you want the concept of your previous electronics doing a little good, think about donating them to worthy causes. Chamberlain says Goodwill is one of the very best choices as a result of the corporate has a powerful reuse hierarchy and goals to get as a lot as it might probably out of electronics earlier than recycling them. You can even discover native charities that settle for electronics via Donation Town.

Cell Phones for Soldiers is a nonprofit that sends abroad troops pay as you go cellphones to allow them to keep in contact with family members. Recycle Health is one other nonprofit that collects health trackers and provides them to underserved populations to encourage health.

Research and Recycle 

Some of the locations now we have already talked about will recycle units that may’t be reused, and it is price checking to see whether or not the unique producer of your gadget has a recycling scheme. Retailers like Best Buy and Staples will settle for and recycle your previous telephones, laptops, and different electronics.

Local amenities that deal with electronics for reuse and recycling generally have neighborhood drop-off occasions, Seibert says, and native municipalities usually have electronics collections a few times a 12 months, so it’s price trying to see whether or not there are any scheduled in your space.

Sadly, not all recycling facilities and schemes are equal. SERI administers the R2 Standard to set finest practices for safeguarding the atmosphere, employee well being and security, and pure assets. An R2 Certified facility will guarantee any used electronics are processed responsibly, together with any residual knowledge on units. While most aren’t arrange for client drop-off, there’s a search tool to filter for people who do.

You can even discover a lengthy listing of international ewaste recycling links at iFixit, take a look at Call 2 Recycle for batteries, and discover recycling areas via Earth 911.

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