The average person is understandably unaware of how to properly dispose of an old or broken electronic device. From outdated computers to broken-down printers and beyond, there are countless electronic devices that are improperly disposed of every single year. Below, we shed light on the many different options to properly dispose of these toxic electronics in a manner that preserves the integrity of our increasingly fragile planet for future generations.
Delete Personal Data Before Disposing of the Electronic Device
If your computer, phone or other computing device has your personal information on it, delete that information before disposing of the device. Otherwise, the party who ends up with the device might pilfer sensitive data ranging from your name to your credit card information, bank account information, Social Security number and beyond in order to steal your identity. Once your personal information is wiped clean from the machine, it is time to consider your options for disposing of the device.
Donate the Electronic Device to Someone in Need
Countless people and charitable organizations would greatly appreciate the donation of a computer, printer, phone or other electronic device if it is still functional. Even local schools might be interested in these items if they are still in working condition. So don’t be so quick to toss your old electronics in the trash. Search for local groups in your area willing to take donations and see if they are interested in your old electronic device.
Recycle the Device
Best Buy and some other big box stores will gladly accept your old or nonfunctional electronic device and recycle it in as green of a manner as possible. It might even be possible for the geek squad at Best Buy to repair the broken device and donate it to a local organization or school in need of such a device. Furthermore, both Dell and Apple will take back old computing devices and recycle them on your behalf in an effort to maintain the planet for posterity’s sake.
Check With Your Local Government’s Waste Removal Department
Most cities and towns have drop-off hours for electronics including bulky items such as printers and desktop computers. Bring your old or broken device by the local waste department during these designated hours, drop it off and you will rest easy knowing the item was either donated or recycled on your behalf. Though dropping off the item will take a little bit more effort and money (in the form of gasoline) than tossing it in the trash, this minor altruistic act will help keep our planet clean and inhabitable for wildlife and future generations of humanity to come.
If the Item Still Works, Consider Selling It
Do not assume a still-functional item is not worth anything. You might be able to sell the electronic device to a person or business even if it is only partially functional. Use the proceeds toward the latest version of that item and this solution will prove mutually beneficial to all parties. List your item for sale on Craigslist or eBay, be honest about the extent of its functionality and you just might walk away with a bundle of cash.