Electronics should not be discarded because they contain hazardous chemicals that can leach into the ground, pollute freshwater supplies, and kill plant life. That being said, if you have a collection of electronics that you no longer use or are broken, you should recycle them. It is recommended that you wipe any storage or hard drives before recycling any of your electronics so that others cannot access confidential or personal information. After wiping your electronics, you can recycle them, donate them, or sell them for a profit.
Method 1 Taking Electronics to the Recycler
1. Online, you can locate a non-profit or government-run recycling centre. There are several organisations that specialise in electronic recycling. Enter your address details on a nonprofit website such as https://www.call2recycle.org/, https://sustainableelectronics.org/, or http://e-stewards.org to find a recycler near you. Most municipalities also have recycling centres in specific areas of town, which you can locate by visiting your local waste removal or recycling website.
Alternatively, you can use a search engine to find a recycling centre.
Some charitable recycling centres will donate your old equipment to schools and communities in need.
Electronics cannot be recycled at all recycling centres.
2. Bring your old electronics to a recycling centre. If you have a large number of electronics to recycle, it may be helpful to place them in a bin or trash bag so you can move them all at once. Make your way to the recycling centre and drop them off.
Some locations will have dedicated drop-off bins for recycled electronics, whereas others may require you to speak with a staff member.
Some recycling centres are privately owned, while others are government run.
If you don’t have a car, consider using a ride-hailing service, such as Uber or Lyft, to get to the recycler.
3. Instead of using a recycler, find out when your city’s special collection days are. Many cities will have designated days for electronics recycling throughout the year, which are sometimes referred to as household hazardous waste collection or recycling days. If your municipality collects recycling from your home, look on their website or use a search engine to see if they have an electronics recycling programme.
Some cities may require you to take your electronics to a community centre or designated drop-off location, whereas others may pick them up from your home.
Method 2 Selling the Electronics
1. Sell your items at a store that participates in a buy-back programme.  Many retailers, including Best Buy, Staples, and Amazon, offer an electronics recycling or buy-back programme in exchange for store credit. To find a list of retailers that have an electronics trade-in or recycling programme, go to https://www.epa.gov/recycle/electronics-donation-and-recycling. Examine the list of approved items and then take the electronics that meet the requirements to the nearest location near you.
For old electronics, Amazon’s trade-in programme offers up to $200 in gift card credit.
For old Apple products, Apple’s GiveBack programme can provide up to $1,000 in store credit.
Many printer manufacturers offer trade-in programmes for used printer cartridges and equipment.
2. Make use of an online buyback programme. Websites such as https://www.decluttr.com/, https://www.gazelle.com/, and https://www.trademore.com/ pay cash for unwanted electronics. Visit the websites and enter the information about the item you want to sell. The site will then ask you to submit the device’s condition and will provide you with a valuation for the item.
Some buyback programmes are hardware-specific. Examine the websites to see what types of electronics they buy back.
3. Offer the electronics for sale on Craigslist or eBay. If the electronics you have are in good working order, someone else may be interested in purchasing them. Look up the item’s relative value online before listing it to get an idea of how much you can sell it for. Then, photograph the electronics and enter the specifications into the online listing. A buyer may see the item and decide to buy it.
When selling anything on Craigslist, make sure to meet the buyer in person before proceeding with the transaction.
Method 3 Donating Your Electronics
1. Check with local nonprofits to see if they are in need of electronics. Inquire with your local community, recreation, and senior centres, as well as other nonprofits and charities, if they could benefit from an electronics donation. Many of these organisations need computers, laptops, cellphones, and electronic accessories. If you find an organisation that could benefit from the donation, set up a time to drop it off at their location.
Make certain that the electronics you intend to donate are in good working order.
2. Give your old electronics to Goodwill. Goodwill collaborates with the Dell Reconnect programme to provide computers and other electronic equipment to people in need. Find a Goodwill store near you and donate your electronics there. Goodwill will then take the computers and use them to assist people in finding work. This is a simple and tax-deductible method of recycling old electronics.
Even if the electronics aren’t functional, Goodwill may be able to repurpose the components to refurbish another system.
3. Donate your electronic devices to an online charity. Organizations such as the World Computer Exchange, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Fireside International will collect used electronics and distribute them to people in need all over the world. Look for a charity that you care about and read their website to figure out the simplest way to donate your electronics to them. Some organisations will have designated drop-off locations, while others will accept donations via mail.
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