Many of us have that shoe box in that back of the closet—the place where old phones go to retire. While it’s hard to imagine ever actually using your old outdated phones, there’s a nice sense of comfort in knowing you have a backup if your shiny new device should take a plunge into the toilet or be left behind during an evening on the town.
Phones are not the only old tech to be banished to the back of the closet, however. Laptops, printers, DVD and VCR players, old gaming systems, and stereo equipment are all subject to replacement within a few years of purchase.
If your old tech is damaged or nonfunctional, you might even toss it right into the trash! But did you know, these tech relics are not completely worthless?
One Man’s Trash
Gadgets are made recyclable materials, precious metals, and even toxic elements, too. So if you’ve been hoarding old technology, you’re probably sitting on a gold mine. If you’ve been sending it to the landfill, you’re contributing to one of the worst and most significant types of pollution. The United States is the biggest global contributor to “e-waste”, of which millions of tons are shipped overseas to China and India, where they are typically burned.
The good news is, clearing the old tech clutter in a lucrative and environmentally friendly manner has never been easier!
Image Source: Pixabay
Another Man’s Treasure
Your old phones and laptops are actually made up of precious metals like gold, silver, copper, platinum, and palladium. Keep an eye on metal prices to decide when is the best time to cash in your tech hoard.
Along with those valuable metals are also some pretty dangerous ones, too, like arsenic, antimony, cadmium, mercury, and lead. So it’s also important to select a method of disposal that will properly handle these toxic elements with as little environmental impact as possible.
E-Cycling Made Easy
Large chains like Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot are great options. Best Buy has an extensive list of items they accept for recycling. Most items you can drop off yourself at the store, but in some cases of larger items, they will even come to you and pick them up! You might be given a credit for your recycled items that you can use towards new purchases.
PC manufacturers and mobile carriers are other great recycling options that boast rewards. Dell, LG, Samsung, Sony, and Asus all have e-cycle programs for their own respective products.
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon each have mobile phone recycling and upgrade programs, too. They will often buy your old phone back and credit you for a new one. Sometimes the phones are broken down and recycled, but in many cases they are refurbished and donated to various needy individuals.