What to Do With Your Unwanted Electronics

What to Do with Unwanted Electronics -- how to donate, recycle, sell, or upcycle.

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We have some serious computer geniuses in the extended family–I mean serious. As technology advances, so do they. This means they have veritable computer graveyards, known in the biz as e-waste. It’s impressive, really, how they can extract a skeleton and some guts from their graveyard and create the computer world’s rendition of Frankenstein’s monster. Go bro!

Most of us have our own budding e-graveyards, some old unused techno-gadgets stuffed in a drawer or closet or that old desktop computer from high school sitting unused in a corner. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have Frankenstein-like computer revival skills. It’s tempting just to toss the e-waste, but that’s a no-no for several reasons I won’t get into here, but which you can read about here. What is a responsible grown-up supposed to do with old cellphones, iPods, televisions, Kindles, computers, and other techno-clutter?

First things first. Before kissing your e-waste goodbye and shedding that final tear, do the following:

    1. Check your state’s laws.
    2. Consider upgrading instead of replacing old equipment.
    3. Wipe out the memory and any other personal information–you want total computer amnesia.
    4. Remove the battery if that bugger has to be recycled separately.

Where to Recycle Old Technology

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Next, check out these websites for quick and easy e-waste solutions:

Where to Recycle Unwanted Electronics

Environmental Protection Agency


The Manufacturer–some companies, such as SamsungDell, and these fellas, will take back their gadgets at no cost to you…although I’m not sure why it should cost you. They should give you a cookie.

Where to Sell Unwanted Electronics




Craig’s List (Who is Craig, anyway, and why does he have such a big list?)

The Manufacturer–many companies, such as Best Buy, Dell, and Amazon will buy back your e-waste to refurbish or recycle for parts and either give you a gift card or deduct the cost from an upgraded unit. Some of those companies will buy back other company’s electronics, too. Cool beans, eh?

Where to Donate Unwanted Electronics

National Cristina Foundation — NCF gives the products to organizations in need.

Cell Phones for Soldiers



Interconnection.org — They put new operating systems into old computers and donate them to needy causes.

How to Repurpose Old Technology

Update the innards.

Pass it down to the kids to be used as a word processor or typing tutor.

Make a fish tank out of a monitor.

Make jewelry.

Make a cat bed…my personal favorite use.

Try one of these techy ideas.

There are hundreds of ideas online or in the head of the exceptionally creative.

Get rid of those squeaky computer mice and stale memory chips…and my cheesy puns while you’re at it! You may be connecting soldiers to their families or making a little cash in the process.

What do you do with old electronics?