Out with the old…electronics (the right way!)
January is the perfect time to organize your home and purge whatever you don’t need anymore—including unused electronics like TVs, computers and phones. But while you probably know the wrong way to get rid of those items (that would be ditching them on the side of the road and driving off), figuring out the correct method is a little less obvious.
- The first thing you need to do is to erase all personal data. If it’s a cell phone, that means doing a factory reset and removing the SIM and SD cards. With a computer, clear the hard drive by running a free erasing program like Softpedia DP Wiper.
- Next, ask yourself if you can donate the item to charity. Functioning cell phones and computers can often be spiffed up and given to places like schools or shelters that can’t afford new ones. Goodwill, Salvation Army and other charities will gladly take working electronics off your hands. Just make sure to ask for a receipt so you can write it off when you do your taxes.
- If the answer is no because the item just doesn’t work, find a nearby recycling center. If you live near Detroit, the best place to recycle electronics is an e-steward (locations here). Other options are to use the manufacturer’s take-back program or to head to the nearest Best Buy or Staples, both of which have an amazing recycling program for old TVs, phones, computers, batteries and more.
Photo credit: Ruocaled