The Guide to Donating Your Old Electronics

Published On January 7, 2014 | Green Tech

When it comes to buying electronics, it seems like we’re constantly in a race against time. Even when you’ve bought the “latest” and “most advanced” piece of technology, big tech companies are already working on the next best thing and it can be easy to feel left behind. The desire to have the very best means older technology gets left in the dust, and many times, collecting dust. But even if you’re over your iPhone 4, that doesn’t mean someone else can’t get good use out of it. Read on to learn about how to donate or recycle your old electronics.

Why Donate or Recycle Old Tech Products?

Even if your old technology isn’t good as a whole, it can be used for its parts and given new life with a new owner. There are many different retailers who accept old technology so that they can refurbish it. In other instances, companies accept old computers, cell phones, etc. so that they can be disposed of properly and not cause hazard to the environment. For every million cell phones recycled, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.

Preparing for Donate Your Items

When donating old cell phones, computers, laptops or tablets, it’s important to protect your privacy. The last thing you want is for a stranger to get a hold of private photos, or even worse, information they can use to access your finances. It is important to delete all items from the device prior to donating. For phones, this includes photos, contacts, notes, call history and message history. For computers, it includes wiping your hard drive.

Another step that you need to take before donating electronics is removing the battery. Often times these batteries need to be disposed of separately.

Lastly, you should gather all accessories that go with the electronic device, including chargers, keyboards, power cords and any other items that you will no longer use. This ensures that when you donate the item, it will be usable as quickly as possible.

Where to Donate

Dell Reconnect

Dell has partnered with Goodwill to recycle used computer equipment and has more than 2,000 participating locations in the United States and Canada. In addition to accepting traditional laptops and computers, they also accepts Xbox 360 and Zune® systems and accessories. Since the partnership began in 2004, the program has helped keep more than 250 million pounds of e-waste out of landfills.

Call2Recycle
Call2Recycle collects rechargeable batteries and cell phones. The program has more than 30,000 locations throughout the United States where you can drop off your items. It is the goal of the company to keep all rechargeable batteries and cellphones out of the solid waste system. Donating to Call2Recycle is easy, too. Simply visit their website to find the drop-off location nearest you.

Games for Heroes
If it’s gaming systems that you’re looking to get rid of, Games for Heroes can help you make some room in your home and brighten a soldier’s day. The organization collects handheld video games and ships them to U.S. soldiers who are stationed overseas.

Komputers 4 Kids

Based out of Southern California, this program seeks donations of used computers, laptops, printers, fax machines, dvd players, gaming systems and more so that they can provide these tools to under-privileged children and help bridge the gap between higher and lower income families. If you are donating a large quantity of electronics, you can schedule a pick up time with Komputers 4 Kids.

—  By Jennifer Thayer

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