If you’re in the midst of decluttering or plan to start simplifying soon, you may come across a number of electronics and tech accessories that you don’t want or use anymore. Whether it’s computers, mobile phones, flatscreen TVs, CDs, DVDs, batteries, keyboards, cords or other tech gear, you can’t simply throw them away. Not only do the materials and minerals they’re made from not break down properly in landfills, they’re also mostly nonrenewable, making them valuable and in high demand for reuse. In many states, it’s actually illegal to throw certain electronic materials in the garbage.
The question you’ll undoubtedly ask yourself is, What do I do with all of these electronic items I don’t want?
The truth is, it’s pretty easy to sell, donate or recycle most electronics. Check out how to keep scarce or hazardous materials out of the landfill and reduce the environmental impact of e-waste.
Your old tech toys and accessories could earn you some extra spending money. Whether you use a formal trade-in program like those from Amazon, Apple or Best Buy, or list your items for sale on websites like Facebook Marketplace, Declttr or OfferUp, you can get rewarded while helping the planet.
Sometimes, you’d rather just get your unused tech out of your home quickly. That’s OK! Electronics in working condition can be donated so that another person can enjoy them. Goodwill, Salvation Army and local charity shops are great places to start. Ask your local library if it accepts donations of CDs, DVDs and video games, and check with schools near you to see if teachers could use any of your items. Your local Buy Nothing Facebook Group can help you clear out electronics responsibly, and even your local zoo or aquarium may host e-recycling programs.
For broken electronics, or items you couldn’t find a new home for (by selling or donating), your last course of action may be recycling.
Check out these sites to find electronics recycling locations near you:
- Earth911 (for many types of electronics as well as hundreds of other materials)
- Best Buy (for many types of electronics; limit three items per household, per day)
- Consumer Technology Association (for TVs, monitors, computers, laptops, printers, mobile phones and other electronics)
- Call2recycle (for batteries and mobile phones)
Note: Because program rules and locations change, make sure to call ahead to confirm your donation can still be accepted.
In our tech-loving society, you’ll probably have many electronics to rehome or recycle in your lifetime. Knowing what options and resources are available makes it much easier to make the eco-friendly decision whenever you need to declutter some e-waste.
One eco-friendly decision you can make right now? Powering your home with 100% clean electricity to lower your carbon footprint. Check out our renewable energy plans today.
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