We’re constantly buying new gadgets—from phones to computers to smart home devices. But once you've upgraded to the latest gadget, what do you do with your old tech?
One environmentally friendly solution is to recycle it. Your old devices—known as electronic waste or e-waste for short—contain hazardous chemicals that can harm people, animals, and the environment if you don’t dispose of them properly. This is why many states have made it illegal to throw your old gadgets in the regular trash.
So how do you get rid of your e-waste responsibly? Here are five things you need to know about recycling your old cell phones, computers, and other devices.
What e-waste can be recycled?
Nearly 100% of your old technology is recyclable. Everything from phones and laptops to e-readers, to video game consoles, to that old VCR you still have hiding in the back of your storage closet. If it plugs in or uses a battery, you can usually recycle it.
How can I find tech and phone recycling near me?
Participating uBreakiFix® by Asurion and Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions™ stores offer not only cell phone recycling, but recycling for most everyday tech like tablets, computers, printers, game consoles, wearables, and more.
Can I trade in my used tech?
Most wireless carriers have trade-in programs that let you put the value of your old phone towards the cost of a new one. Ask your wireless phone carrier for program-specific details.
And don't forget about Amazon. It has an electronics trade-in program where you can trade in old stuff for a gift card.
Can I donate my old phone?
Many nonprofits run their own tech refurbishing programs to help support those in need. If you're looking for where you can donate your old cell phone, here are some organizations:
Be sure to erase your tech before recycling
Before recycling or donating your old device, make sure you completely wipe all of your data off of it. This will help to protect your identity and destroy any confidential documents or files on your device. Check your device's manual for step-by-step instructions, or follow our guides: