We’ve all got at least one or two old cell phones or old laptops hanging around the house, doing nothing but collecting dust after they ran out of juice or you upgraded to a new model. That doesn’t have to be the case, though. There are several excellent ways to either turn your old items into amazing new pieces of tech for other individuals or ensure that the materials used to bring your phones and monitors to life are repurposed for new gadgets in the future. Next time you’re in the middle of some spring cleaning, use this list of where to donate old phones and laptops to make sure you send your tech to the right place. Whatever you choose, just please don’t decide to throw those old tech items away instead, OK?
However, before you give away your used electronics, be sure you’ve cleared applicable devices of personal information or sensitive data you don’t want others to have. You wouldn’t want anyone logging into your accounts after you’ve just done your part to take care of the environment and pass on your old gadgets, after all. Be smart and ensure all your old photos, passwords, text messages, browsing history, and everything else is completely gone before cutting your items loose. A factory reset certainly couldn’t hurt.
Best Buy is a nationwide retailer that has stores across the country. It also has a surprisingly impressive recycling program. The chain will accept small tube TVs, smartphones, Bluetooth headsets, and a wide variety of other items you may have lying around in a drawer, though it won’t take old cassettes, VHS tapes, hard drives, or other similar items. There’s a lengthy list of what the company is willing to recycle on its official website, and it’s quite exhaustive. If you’re thinking of getting rid of some of your old items, this is a quick trip to make if you have a store by you, and all you have to do is drop your item off in a recycling kiosk by the entrance. You can deposit up to three items per day.
Staples is another nationwide chain that’s willing to offer important recycling services. You can utilize its trade-in program, where you can take qualifying devices in-store (or ship them in) and receive a quote for what you’re offering, which pays out in Staples eCash Cards. You can also drop off up to six types of computers, printers, and monitors at any store per day, with special allowances made for ink and toner cartridges. You can bring in up to 10 items per month that’ll net you $2 each in Staples Rewards certificates.
Office Depot joins the line of nationwide electronics and office supply stores that offer an electronics recycling program. Its program is unique, however, in that you can purchase Tech Recycling Service boxes that are meant to be filled with as many electronic items as you wish. The only catch is that the box must be able to be closed. When you’re done filling it with goodies, bring it to an Office Depot store unsealed so it can be inspected. After Office Depot looks it over, it will be sent off to the proper waste management services to be handled, with materials broken down and recycled.
Dell has partnered with Goodwill for an awesome program that’s responsible for giving back to the community with refurbished and repaired tech items. All you need to do is find a participating drop off location (there are around 1,900 across the country to choose from) and drop off any unwanted electronics you have. They’ll accept just about anything, even if it’s broken, and will go about repairing what’s salvageable to ensure others have access to tech products they can afford, or in some cases for free.
eBay Giving Works
eBay Giving Works is a different approach to recycling your electronics. When you list your item, you can select the eBay Giving Works section when setting up your listing. You can choose from over 24,000 charities and donation percentage from 10 to 100%. When your item sells, your donation will be collected via the nonprofit partner PayPal Giving Fund, and you’ll be sent a tax receipt. All of your contributions are tax deductible, and you will get a portion of your seller fees back. If you’re looking to unload your extra tech items and upgrade anyway, why not ensure some of the proceeds go to charity to help someone in need?
World Computer Exchange
This is a fantastic organization looking to promote recycling electronics by offering computers and other gadgets to communities in need around the world. World Computer Exchange will accept items via drop-off if you have a chapter near you, or you can mail in your computers in exchange for a tax receipt. There’s a lengthy list of gear the company can use on its official website, but chances are they can use what you’ve got, ranging from regular computers to scanners, webcams, microphones, and everything in between.