October 21st, 2014

5 things to know about recycling your old tech

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How and where to recycle old phone and computer

With today's constantly evolving technology, there's always amazing new devices being launched. From smartphones to computers and smart home devices, we're often upgrading to the latest and greatest must-have tech. But once you've introduced new tech into your life, what do you with your old stuff?

The responsible path forward is recycling for your well-loved electronics that are nearing the end of their useful life—often referred to as electronic waste, or e-waste for short. Since e-waste contains carcinogenic chemicals, your tech can go from helpful to hazardous if not disposed of properly. This is why many states have made it illegal to throw away your old tech gadgets in the regular trash.

So how do you get rid of your e-waste responsibly? Here's five things you need to know about tech recycling.

What e-waste can be recycled?

Nearly 100% of all of your old technology, aka e-waste, is recyclable. Everything from laptops, to e-readers, to video game consoles, to that old VCR you still have hiding in the back of your storage closet. Basically, if it plugs in or uses a battery, it can be recycled.

How can I find tech recycling near me?

uBreakiFix by Asurion stores accept most everyday tech devices for recycling, including cell phones, tablets, computers, printers, game consoles, wearables, and more. Learn more about UBIF's tech recycling or find your local uBreakiFix by Asurion.

Can I trade in my used tech?

Most wireless carriers have trade-in programs that allow you to put the value of your old phone towards the cost of a new one. Ask your wireless provider for program-specific details. If you're not currently in the market for a new phone, online services such as Nextworth may offer cash for your used tech. And don't forget Amazon, which has an electronics trade-in program where you can trade in old stuff for a gift card.

Do nonprofits accept tech donations?

Many nonprofits run their own tech refurbishing programs to help support those in need. For example:

Be sure to erase your tech before recycling

Before recycling your device, make sure you erase the hard drive completely. This will help to protect your identity and destroy any confidential documents or files on your device. Check your device's manual for a step-by-step guide or check online. For phones, check out our guide on how to factory reset your iPhone or Android.

Make sure your tech is protected

Protect the devices your family loves and relies on with one simple plan that covers all your favorite home tech. With Asurion Home+, we cover your computers, TVs, tablets, premium headphones, smart devices, and so much more—plus, 24/7 assistance for your whole family with any tech care need—for less than $1/day. Learn more about Asurion Home+ coverage and how you can get peace-of-mind device protection.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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