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How to Get the Most From Old Electronics

Sooner or later, your electronics will get old. The time will also come when you need to move on from them. Whether they break down, become obsolete, or you just buy something else, your home and life might get cluttered with older pieces of technology that you should get out of your home. It may not be easy to let go of that original flip phone you’ve held on to for sentimental reasons, but there is never a better time than now to do just that. However, just throwing them away is never a good idea. There are plenty of ways to properly dispose of old electronics.


Tossing electronics into the trash does no one any favors. They might contain mercury and other materials that can leech out into a landfill and contaminate soil and water for years to come. These types of materials can cause great issues to the environment and even to the groundwater in your area. At the very least, recycle electronics at a community center that is certified to dispose of them properly. Most metro areas have at least one such site through the local government. Many tech stores either take old electronics or know of the best place to take them to be recycled.

Sell to a Recycler

It’s possible to make money recycling some electronics. For-profit recyclers sometimes referred to as scrappers, will pay money for anything that has the materials inside it that they can repurpose. For instance, copper recycling is a thriving industry right now because of how pricey the material is right now. There are a lot of materials that can be repurposed in many electronics, especially the newer computers and phones we have. Many large tech companies today repurpose a lot of materials from their old devices in the form of exchanges or buybacks.

Check the Secondhand Market

You might be surprised at the value some old electronics actually have. Someone craving any iPhone might be happy to buy an older model when you’re upgrading to the latest and greatest. CRT televisions are always in demand among retro gamers with original consoles, and even flatscreen televisions that still have the multicolor audiovisual ports on the side or back actually rise in value since everything has gone HDMI. Even record players have some nostalgic feel to them among the burgeoning vinyl crowd.

Some great places to look are Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, and even the newspaper. Something that has become more common is posting that you are having a garage sale and after you set everything up, take some pictures and post them on social media. You will have more success than you think.

Donate It

When all else fails, consider donating your electronics to a Goodwill or other charitable donation enterprise. Some specific Goodwill stores only do electronics. They take the donations and refurbish them before selling them and using the proceeds for good causes. At the very least, you can generate a value receipt for the item to claim for a tax deduction the following April.

When the time comes that you need to get rid of your old electronics, get the most you can from them by disposing of them through the proper avenues. Each method has its pros and cons but lets you make the most of your old electronics.

Written By

Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber

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