If you’re like most people, you probably have a drawer or shelf of old electronics that aren’t useful anymore. The inexorable march of technology means many of your electronic gizmos and computers are quickly out of date and no longer needed. You don’t want to just throw these devices in the trash to rot in a landfill and leech toxic substances into the ground. So, what can you do with them? Here are some options.

Sell it

Some devices you replace still have quite a bit of life left in them. This is especially true of smartphones. Most people replace their smartphones every two years or so, and that old one is still perfectly useable. To get top dollar you can sell them on Craigslist, but that can be a pain to have to deal with meeting with people. You can also sell them on ebay, but that requires setting up accounts for ebay and PayPal, and lots of fees, and shipping costs. There are also companies that will sell your stuff on ebay for you for a fixed percentage of the sales price.

Any easier way is to use a site like Gazelle.
Gazelle lets you easily enter the device you have, the condition it’s in, and get a price. If you accept, they will mail you a box with a return label. All you do is box it up and put it in the mailbox. They even wipe the devices for you so you don’t have to worry about your data falling into the wrong hands. You won’t get as much as you would if you sell it yourself, and they don’t pay money for all devices, but the ease of the whole process makes it worth a look.

electronics-recycling1Donate it

First, see if any friends or family members want it. A quick post on Facebook can get rid of quite a few items you don’t want. Just be sure to wipe your personal data off the devices before you part with them. See my article about wiping your devices for instructions on how to do that.

Goodwill or another local charity will take most of your old electronics. Once notable exception is TVs and CRT monitors (you know, the big bulky ones before flat-screens.)

Recycle it

The final option for your unneeded devices is recycling. There are several places you can drop off electronics for free recycling: Best Buy, Goodwill, Staples, and Louisville Waste Reduction Center

Don’t just throw away your old electronics. Help save the planet!