what to do with old tech gadgets

5 Things You Can Do With Old Tech Products

Since the amount of hardware a person can accumulate in their lives has dramatically expanded to include iPads, cell phones, personal laptops, reading tablets, and TVs, there is a growing problem people are facing.

What are you supposed to do with these products when you’re done with them?

Whether they’ve broken down or just finished serving your purposes, it feels wrong to just toss a piece of hardware in the trash.

what to do with old tech gadgets
Turn Your Old Phone or Tablet Into a Security Camera

5 Ways to Safely And More Sustainably Dispose of Tech Products.

1. First, Clean House

Before you dispose of any hardware, it’s important to make sure you’re cleaning it off any personal information you may have used it for in the past.

This is especially important if you’re planning to sell or give away the item, but is still important if the item is going to the dumpster.

Most cell phones and tablets will have a factory reset option that will put your device in the state you bought it in, completely cleared of your information, and ready to be used by someone else.

Whether you’re intending to take out a VA IRRRL loan for your next product or go off the grid completely, it’s also important to back up any important data you have saved on devices.

A lot of people conduct financial business and have files on their devices that they’ll need for tax season or other purposes. Go through the device and carefully back up anything you’ll need later to an external hard drive.

2. Refurbish

If your device is run-down but still functions and is still a product you enjoy using, consider trying to have it refurbished before getting rid of it.

Many hardware companies will offer trade-ins or repairs for products purchased from them. The usual instinct is to toss a device as soon as it starts having trouble, but by exploring all your options first you could save yourself a lot of money. 

3. Donate

A lot of the time, downsizing possessions comes at a place in life when you don’t have a whole lot of time for thinking about what to do with all that stuff. For example, maybe you’re moving into a new home and won’t have space for all your old junk.

This is a great case for donating the things you no longer need. There are frequent programs for underprivileged members of your community that will gladly take functioning tablets and laptops, while most charity shops are happy to take most working devices.

4. Resell

Chances are, you paid a pretty penny for your hardware devices like cell phones and iPads. If they’re still in good working condition when you’re done with them, there’s no reason why you can’t sell them to someone at a discounted rate.

Websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are easy places to find local buyers who will meet you and take the device off your hands. Just make sure you’ve backed up your files and factory reset the devices before you sell.

Be warned: selling publically can be a frustrating experience and you may end up with persistent hagglers who want a lower price. Find a price you think is fair and stick to it until you find the right buyer. 

5. Recycle

Lastly, if your device is beyond repair and isn’t in good enough shape to donate or sell, you can most likely find a way to recycle it. Lots of components in most hardware devices (such as mercury and lead) are toxic to the environment and can be dangerous things if they’re simply thrown in the dumpster.

Thankfully, there’s a rising number of recycling programs that will take your device and safely dispose of it. Some hardware companies have their own programs to recycle old equipment purchased from them, and may even offer a trade-in service.

Instead of tossing your old phone in the garbage, consider doing some research to find all your options first. 

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