You may have accumulated old batteries, cables or devices over the years for nostalgic reasons or because you think they may be useful later. Take a look at your drawers, garage, and those dark corners of your closet, and you’re sure to find plenty of things you really don’t need.
Leave technology museums for others. You have better things to do than let the dust build up on that old laptop, slide phone, or camera you were saving for your kids. No matter what kind of technology it is, when the time finally comes to say goodbye, there is a right way to get rid of your old devices and lots of wrong ways. In this note we explain what to do.
Read more: How to resell your cell phone tablets and used computers
What should I do before disposing of my device?
Once you’re done using batteries or some device, make sure you’ve really severed any ties to them. Even if they are old, all it takes is a charger to reboot your phone or computer and access your personal information.
The moral of this story is this: make sure to back up everything that is useful to you on the device (photos, videos, songs, etc.) and then restore factory settings. Don’t worry, we’ll give you some tips on cleaning your device in the sections on phones, laptops and cameras, below.
What do I do with all my used batteries?
There are a couple of ways to properly dispose of single-use and rechargeable batteries, such as AA, AAA, and D types, which are commonly used in flashlights, toys, and other household electronic devices.
You can also check Earth911, a website that helps you find the closest recycling location to your home based on the type of battery you need to dispose of (for example, alkaline, button cell, lithium, zinc-air, etc.). Call2Recycle It can also help you find places to recycle your batteries.
How to recycle phones
Smartphones and their batteries are one of the easiest electronic devices to recycle, according to Call2Recycle (link in English).
Remember to transfer all the data and photos from your old phone to a new phone, or in any case save your photos before restoring the factory settings. Remember to also remove the SIM card, if it is still inside the phone.
This company accepts all phones and batteries, regardless of size, brand, model, or age. Call2Recycle can recondition your device to resell it or recycle materials for a new device. If you are looking for a good place to do it, you can even receive a payment for recycling your phone.
If your phone is recent enough, you can redeem it with a provider by buying a new phone or selling it on the open market. On the other hand, if you have already lost a lot of its value, recycling it may be your best option to get rid of it.
read: How to recycle or sell your phone for money
Best Buy accepts up to three phones per home per day, Lowes has recycling centers at all of its locations, Home Depot accepts cell phones with a total weight of up to 11 pounds and you can also leave your phones at Staples.
Whole Foods works with Secure the call to carry phones that work only for emergency calls to 911 to seniors and domestic violence shelters. In this case, be sure to also carry your charger.
You can also donate your used phones to Cell Phones for Soldiers. This program helps soldiers call their families at home for free. Some local communities may also receive them as a donation through city-level campaigns.
In addition, we suggest you check with your employer to see how it handles electronic waste. Could you bring some devices to your collection.
How to recycle laptops the easy way
Before you throw away your old computer, ask yourself if it’s still usable. If you’re under five, someone else can probably put it to good use, according to TechSoup. Newer laptops can go to local nonprofits or libraries after being reconditioned. To find a program that does this, you can check the Microsoft Registered Refurbishers Directory.
If the device is too old or in no condition to be donated, you can recycle it. Once again, our friends from Earth911 make things easier for you: just search “laptop computer“(laptop) and enter your zip code to find the closest delivery site. Dell Goodwill Reconnect Program It also accepts old and even broken equipment.
Make sure the program you’re leaving your old hardware with has a good reputation on the website. EPA Certified Electronic Recyclers and feel free to contact the reconditioner or recycler for verification.
When you bring your laptop, remember to also carry all the devices that come with it: keyboard, mouse, printer, modem and any software. Refurbishers can usually repackage all of this. But remember to delete your information first!
Also, if you donate your laptop you can get a tax reduction. Keep track of everything you’ve donated just in case. If you feel particularly ambitious, you can learn more about it at Sage BlueBook or in the section 170 of the Federal Income Tax Code.
You can also recycle your chargers and cables
If you’re like my husband and you have crates of crates full of wires, chargers, and cables in your basement (in case you ever need one), it might be time to get rid of them. That cable you have over there may have some value. Enter the web page Capital Scrap Metal to check prices. For example, as of April 19, the pound of copper costs US $ 2.45.
You can also drop your cables at Best Buy, Staples, and other places. The chargers can also be reconditioned. Sometimes, if a cable stops working with one device, it can be made to work with another. All savings count!
Another option is to donate your old cables, cords, chargers, and wires to local STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) school programs, Google STEM, the National Center for Electronic Device Recycling, or Earth911.
Yes, you should also recycle your old camera
If you still have relics from the photography world of the beginning of the new millennium, we can suggest some places where you can get rid of them.
Best Buy and Home Depot accept cameras and camcorders. Lowes too. And of course Earth911 and Call2Recycle are options that cover all the variety of used electronic products you may have.
It is also possible to recycle televisions
Televisions are larger electronic devices, so recycling them can take extra effort, but don’t be intimidated by it. As with donating and recycling phones and laptops, there are certain things to keep in mind before disposing of an old television. If the TV still works, consider donating it to a thrift store.
If they can be restored to factory settings, Smart TVs may contain personal information. Unplug everything, carefully wrap the cables and tape them to the appliance. Use a dolly to move the TV and do it very carefully: if you drop it, potentially toxic materials from the device could end up in your home.
A Google search will show you several recycling and donation stores that accept larger electronic products. For example, Best Buy you can pick up up to two televisions per home per day for $ 20 if you buy a new TV from them; These include cathode-ray tube televisions less than 32 inches, portable and flat screen televisions, LCDs, LEDs, and plasma less than 50 inches. The pick up service alone costs US $ 100. You can also leave your television in the store: up to three televisions (with accessories) per home per day.
Why can’t I just throw my old devices and batteries in the trash?
Because if your electronic devices end up in a landfill, it’s not just about cables and plastic (which in itself is already a big problem). If you dispose of or dispose of them incorrectly, e-waste (or e-waste in English) can end up damaging you and the environment.
Most electronic devices contain toxic materials like lead, flame retardants, and chromium. These materials can cause damage to people’s kidneys, blood, and nervous systems, as he wrote in a blog post (in English) Ilene Lubell, president of Mayer Metals Corporation, company that is in charge of recycling old electronic products for companies.
According to Lubell, when electronics are dumped or disposed of improperly, those toxic substances can leak into landfills, into groundwater, and vaporize into the atmosphere when heated.
There are several eco-friendly ways to get rid of your old electronic devices that could help people in need or from marginalized communities. It is important to note that the removal protocol may vary depending on the device you have.
Once they get out of your hands, the devices are recycled, reconditioned, or redistributed. Sometimes parts are removed, or melted to retrieve certain scarce materials. The Materials Recovery Laboratory of Apple In Texas, he uses robots to dismantle iPhones at the rate of 200 devices per hour.