How to Recycle Electronics Safely

Did the new year bring you new technology? Are your old devices and gadgets off in storage collecting dust? Are you finally ready to part with it? Here’s our biggest tip: Don’t throw them away. Whether you have electronics that have been replaced or ones that are simply outdated and in a junk drawer, there is a proper way to dispose of them. However, before getting rid of a device, you’ll want to make sure it is ready to be rid of you.


Before Getting Rid of Electronic Devices…

Recycle ElectronicsWait, make sure that our devices are ready for you to get rid of them? What does that even mean? Consider this: If you toss out an old cell phone without clearing your data, someone could easily plug it in, charge it, and recover all of your personal information from that device. To keep your personal data out of the hands of those with ill intent, make sure to back up anything you want off the device, or wipe it clean before getting rid of it for good.


Recycling Old Phones

Thankfully, phones and batteries have been found to be some of the easiest types of electronics to recycle; when done properly. Make sure that your data has either been backed up to another device to save your data before performing a factory reset on your device, and remove the SIM card if it is still there. If your phone is new enough, you may be able to trade it into a carrier, or you can choose to take your chance and sell it on the open market. You’ll just want to make sure that it is in working order if you choose to do this unless you are selling strictly for parts.

According to CNET,  “Best Buy accepts three phones per household per day, Lowes has recycling centers at every location, Home Depot takes phones up to 11 pounds, and Staples also takes phones.”

Whatever you decide to do, be sure it doesn’t end up in the trash with your data still on it.

Recycling Old Laptops

Before sending your old laptop to the electronic graveyard, consider how old it is. According to TechSoup, if it’s less than five years old, odds are someone can put it to good use. However, anything that is too old or outdated to donate (or resell) can be recycled. Earth911 makes it easy to find recycling spots near you. Simply go to their website here, and search for drop offs in your zip code. Always remember to wipe your data first! You don’t want your personal files getting into the wrong hands.

Recycling Common Electronics

Aside from bigger electronics like phones or laptop computers, there are smaller electronics around our homes that have a recyclable home. Batteries (AA, AAA and D-cell), chargers, cables and cords can most often times be recycled.  Avoid dumping them in the trash and check out Earth911’s website for recycling dropoffs near you based on the type of electronic you have. Another great local resource for recycling electronics is Comprenew.

Have questions about what you can and can’t recycle, or how to prepare it for dropoff? Contact our team at I.T. Reboot. Our team is happy to help answer any electronic recycling questions you may have!