Given the pace of technological advancement, it’s no surprise that it doesn’t take long for the latest technology to become old news. When that time comes, it’s vital, for the sake of the planet, to properly dispose of the old technology. Whether you find a new use for the technology or you recycle it in an environmentally responsible manner, there are plenty of good options for disposing of your old electronics.
Make Sure Data is Cleared
If you’re going to dispose of your outdated technology in a way that sees it leave your hands, it is vital that you clear the data from each device before you hand it over. If you don’t, then a total stranger could gain access to sensitive files, which could cause problems down the road. Reputable electronics recycling companies will offer data destruction services that allow you to personally verify that your data is inaccessible.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to dispose of old electronics is to recycle them. When it comes to electronics recycling, though, not all recyclers are created equal. To make money, some underhanded recyclers simply pack-up pallets of old electronics and ship them overseas, leading to serious ecological and human health hazards. Therefore, it’s important to dig into the background of any electronics recycler that you use to ensure they do things the right way.
When disposing of old technology, don’t overlook the fact that this technology could be useful for someone else. You can talk to local schools, libraries, and other non-profit organizations to see if they have a use for your old technology as part of some type of program. This can allow your technology to live-on long after you’re done with it, meaning less waste will be created because new technology won’t have to be purchased.
Given the numerous online electronics marketplaces, you’d be surprised at what some people are willing to pay money for. Selling your old electronics is a great way to care for the environment because someone who pays money for your electronics is much less likely to send the electronics to the landfill. Plus, it never hurts to get a bit of a return on your investment that you can use toward the cost of new technology.
Before disposing of any electronics, ask yourself whether the old electronics are truly at the end of their life cycle. In some cases, you can dramatically improve the performance of old electronics by making a few simple repairs. This allows you to save money and keep old devices from potentially finding their way to a landfill.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan