Being a tech-savvy individual can be expensive and challenging when every other month or year a new gadget is released into the market. The frequency at which new technology is being made means that the need to stay current can becomes a costly commitment — and inevitably leaves behind lots of perfectly working, though perhaps now outdated, tech gadgets that are no longer in use.
On top of the plastics used in most tech products, they also have lots of other potentially harmful substances in them. These include Lead found in cathode-ray tube screens, Cadmium in semiconductors, and Selenium in circuit boards. These are substances that not only pose a serious environmental risk but if not correctly disposed off can be harmful to your health.
What Can You Do?
No phone or computer maker minds if you decide to upgrade every other year. In fact, most are counting on me to sell my mobile and upgrade so that they can make more business. Consequently, all the unused junk ends up collecting dust in your garage or in your closet because you don’t know what to do with all of it.
Fortunately, today, there are numerous available options if rather than consign your old gadgets to the landfill or have them take up space in your drawer, you decide to recycle them.
If your used device still functions or partially broken, there is certainly a nonprofit or charity organisation out there that would only be too happy to offload it off your hands.You can contribute your old phones or computers to groups that can also have them fixed and clean them before putting them back into useful circulation. Even what you consider as being most obsolete, like your oldest computer—can probably still be valuable to someone in another part of the world.
If you wish to make local donations without going through international charitable organisations, you could start by calling up local non-profits, shelters or schools, many of which would only be too happy to receive your donations. The tech products either will be refurbished or sold to raise money. This way, you would also be helping your community directly.
Tech Company Recycling Programs
The majority of big tech companies have taken steps in setting up their own programs of recycling tech devices. These programs are typically easy to access and free allowing you to recycle your unused tech items responsibly. Specific programs are in place targeting those electronics that are determined as not being safe for a landfill. Some of these programs will also accept gadgets that are different from their own brands.
Recycling of old computers is relatively straightforward because when buying a new item, the retailer is legally obliged to help in the safe and responsible disposal of the tech item you want to replace.
There are several programs that offer replacements or money for your unwanted devices thus ensuring you don’t lose everything, and in some cases even making it possible for you to make a profit. Many major phone providers are also offering trade-in services for customers who want to upgrade to newer versions.
Sell them Directly for Hard Cash
If I don’t want to deal with the big tech carriers, many retailers are now offering trade-in programs where I can sell my mobile and receive cash in exchange. For example, Amazon pays for old Kindle and lots of other old tech devices.
On the other hand, dealers like Best Buy will let you trade in by mail or in-store for gift cards. If you send old Apple products to their mobile recycling program which still have some value, you receive a gift card that you can use towards your future purchases at Apple.
While keeping up with the latest technology is challenging financially as companies release new products every other day, it is the issue of recycling that is proving more difficult to handle. However, by taking advantage of the above-described mobile recycling services, it becomes less stressful financially. Your old tech maybe totally unusable or still in relatively good shape, but no matter the state, as a socially responsible citizen, you should avoid throwing them an old in the trash can.