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Safely Disposing of Your Old Electronics

We’re a little over a month into the new year. You may have received new electronics as a holiday gift. Perhaps one of your resolutions was to finally upgrade your computer, cell phone and other technology. The question that many of us have is what to do with our older models. The fact is, our landfills are still filling up with our old devices. Therefore, E-waste is a growing issue for our environment.  There are hazardous chemicals within the equipment that can pose a health threat to us. The good news is that there are many ways to easily dispose of your unwanted tech products.

Re-purposing/Donating:  As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Your local church, schools, charitable organizations often welcome used printers, cell phones, tablets, TV’s and computers. Many of these organizations do not have the funds to purchase new products. Your old technology can make a huge impact.

Recycling:  If you visit the EPA website, the offer a list of companies that offer recycling programs. Your local township’s website likely has information on places to recycle your items. In addition to these options, check the independent manufacturers websites. Many companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung offer recycling options. Some even offer prepaid labels for you to mail them back.

While you’re at it, your batteries and printer ink cartridges should also be disposed of responsibly. Some retail locations, such as Staples, will take your ink cartridges and offer rewards towards a future purchase. Batteries, on the other hand, are safe for regular trash disposal if they are your garden variety household batteries (A, AA, AAA, C, D, 9V). For other types of battery (lithium, button cell, rechargeable, etc.) you can do a search online for local businesses that offer battery drop-offs in your area.

Sell or give away:  There is a host of “selling” sites to post any unwanted items. You may want to recover some of the money you spent on a new model or you just want to unload the item. Your Facebook, online yard sales, eBay, Freecycle, and a host of other sites make it easy to get rid of your former tech products.
However you choose to dispose of your old gadgets and electronics, be sure to wipe its memory clean. Reset your cell phones to the factory settings as well. Use that new computer’s search bar to find the best way to do this for your particular device(s).

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