These days, it seems as though technology is advancing almost too quickly to keep up with. Upgrading to the latest phone, computer, or other devices can be fun and improve performance, but having the latest and greatest doesn’t have to mean wasting the products you have. Here are a few ways to recycle your old electronics that will ensure they continue to get put to good use once you’ve upgraded:

  • Donate: Are your old devices in good condition? Many organizations such as churches, schools and nonprofit organizations accept old electronics as long as they are still usable. Talk to organizations in your community to see if they need or are accepting any devices.
  • Recycle: Some devices are too damaged or too old to be reused. Because many electronics contain potentially hazardous materials, they shouldn’t be thrown away in a traditional garbage bin, and typical recycling plants aren’t equipped to handle them. Instead, bring your electronics to businesses that advertise that they recycle electronics. These businesses are connected with recycling plants that are able to process and sort through electronics to safely to reduce e-waste and re-purpose your old devices. Businesses in your area that accept electronics to be recycled can be found here. Some businesses, such as Best Buy, will even pick up your large electronics (such as televisions) from your home for a fee.
  • Sell: When upgrading your electronics, be sure to consider the condition of the devices you are looking to replace. If the device is still in working condition or can be easily repaired, you might be able to sell it online. Sites such as Craiglist and Ebay make it easy to sell old electronics if you’re looking to make a little money to help pay for your upgrade.
  • Safety: Using these methods to dispose of your old electronics helps to reduce e-waste and re-purpose devices that you no longer need or use, but it important to remember to protect your personal information when doing so. Regardless of whether you are choosing to recycle, donate or sell your items, be sure to wipe your hard drive completely so that your personal information can’t be gleaned from your old devices. Completely erasing your data beyond recovery varies from device to device, so be sure to research exactly how to do it on your specific item.