In years past UK households had only one computer to share among family members. Today, each one will have no less than a couple of gadgets, including a smart phone, a tablet and a laptop.
What can we do with old tech that end up in our drawers, the attic or garage? The obvious answer is to de-clutter. But don't just dispose of your old electronics and appliances by throwing them in the bin – here's how you can clear up space for your new upgrades.
Sort What To Keep Or Get Rid Of
The first step to decluttering your home of gadgets is to gather them all up and sort them into two piles – the ones you'd want to keep, and the ones you'd want to dispose of. Any extra cable, adapter or wire that doesn't belong can be put in a box and disposed at a later time.
Old and Unused Tech
Does your old item still work? Plug the device into a power source and turn it on. Then, check for functionality, e.g., can it still make calls, play games, take a picture or play music? Accordingly, you can repurpose or donate them.
Consoles, DVDs and Installation Disks
Drives for computer accessories or hardware are available online, which means you can dispose of old CDs for your printer, USB mouse and office equipment.
Desktop PCs, Laptops and Computer Accessories
Check the computer peripherals, e.g., does the mouse still work? Does the keyboard function on all keys? You can probably dispose or recycle if you already have several working ones.
Sorting Your Remote and Other Equipment
For battery-powered devices, remember to take them out and do a factory reset before handing them over to protect your personal data and the environment.
After these steps you will have a pile that you'd want to dispose of. Here are a few disposal ideas for you to consider.
Recycle and Dispose Responsibly
Your old, unwanted tech may be a bit dusty and have gone through the usual wear and tear, but the worst thing you can do is throw it straight to the bin.
The proper sustainable way is still the best course of action, otherwise your device will just end up in a landfill. When it decays, toxic metal and materials will leach into the ground and harm the immediate environment.
The best way to recycle is to call your local center for a pick-up or drop it off on your way to work. You can also hand it to someone who can and will take care of your working gadget and treat it like a precious gift.
Set Your Price and Sell Online
Find a suitable buyer on popular online seller platforms such as Craigslist, eBay or Facebook. Here, you can sell your old stuff, including old cell phones, laptops, game consoles, games and even antiques. Post a photo, add a description and exchange your gadgets or electronics for money.
Sell Directly To A Recycler
Have a new gadget you'd like to sell for top dollar? Try a recycling site that offers reasonable quotes on the latest tech. Some of the things they accept are the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy, MacBook Air, iPad Pro, PixelBooks and the latest-gen consoles.
You can get your tech traded in on various recycling programmes for manufacturers. For example, Apple offers a trade-in discount or a gift card to upgrading to new equipment. The same goes with major companies, including HP, Lenovo, Motorola, Samsung, etc.
For Older Items
Old electronic goods can still be recycled for parts or for reuse. Handsets are stripped of parts and valuable components or turned into refurbished goods and sold for a fraction of the price. If you have an old digital camera, mp3 player or hearing aid, or a phone that has a cracked screen, they can still be recycled. It's also possible to earn a bit of cash along the way.
Donate To Non-Profits
Last but not the least, there's the option of donating your old tech to organizations such as hospitals, schools, animal shelters, etc. You can give your electronic item as a hand-me-down to your favourite nephew or niece, a friend or a neighbour.
Regular decluttering makes for a cleaner home that's more conducive to family life. When disposing of old tech, make sure you're not hurting the environment and that you dispose it of responsibly.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post