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5 things to know about recycling your phone and other tech

How and where to recycle old phone and computer

With today's constantly evolving technology, there's always amazing new devices being launched. From phones 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 are five things you need to know about recycling your old cell phones, computers and other tech devices.

What e-waste can be recycled?

Nearly 100% of all of your old technology, aka e-waste, 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. Basically, if it plugs in or uses a battery, it can be recycled.

How can I find tech and phone recycling near me?

uBreakiFix® by Asurion and Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions™ stores offer not only cell phone recycling, but recycling for most everyday tech devices like tablets, computers, printers, game consoles, wearables, and more. 

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.

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 two examples of organizations that provide cost-free communications:

Cell Phones for Soldiers

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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:

How to factory reset your phone

How to factory reset your PC computer

How to factory reset your Mac computer

How to factory reset your iPad

How to factory reset your Xbox One

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