One of the biggest issues with electronics is that they become outdated quickly. No matter how much you spend, you’re eventually going to find something that’s faster, more powerful, or just plain better. If you’re in the process of upgrading, though, it is vital that you know what to do with your old equipment. Electronics shouldn’t just be thrown away because they contain many potentially toxic materials. Instead, you have many other options for disposing of your outdated electronics.
Talk to a Local School
A great first step to take with many types of electronics is to talk to a local school. Many schools are more than happy to take items like computers and printers off your hands, even if they’re only going to use them as examples in repair classes. With schools losing money from their budgets every year, donations have become an important part of the school technology cycle.
Donate to Charity
It is also worthwhile to check with charities to see if it makes sense to donate your items to them. Some charities are in desperate need of older computers so they can upgrade their own offices, for example, while others might be able to take your old cell phone and give it to someone in need. These donations also count as a tax write-off, so this can be a good way to recoup at least some of the cost of buying your new equipment.
Sell Them Off
You may also want to think about selling your old equipment, especially if it is in good shape. While your most recent upgrade might be a step up for you, the machines that you have left behind could be in high demand among other users. This is especially useful for those who are trading up in the world of hobby electronics, as there is almost always a buyer out there who is looking to get into the hobby or to upgrade equipment at a lower price than they would get when buying new.
Finally, even if these other options don’t work for you, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t just throw out electronics. Not only will many electronic items lead to pollution in landfills, but they’re full of precious resources that really do need to be conserved as much as possible. Since you can’t just throw these items away, you’ll need to either locate a local electronics recycling facility or call up a business that engages in this practice. Doing so is an environmentally friendly way to get rid of your old electronics.
Don’t just toss away your old electronics. Sell them, find someone who needs them, or recycle them properly. These machines hold value even if you’re not using them, so make sure that you find a way that others can benefit from those items that you no longer need.
Anita Ginsburg, the author, is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.