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How to Safely Discard of Your Old Laptops, Tablets, and Cell Phones



Most electronics can serve your needs even for years after their designs are outdated. However, some components in them may fail after long use, or you may need to update your equipment for personal and professional reasons. If you don't want excess machinery cluttering up your workspace, you can dispose of it. There are a few things you can do to ensure that you'll be able to discard everything safely.

Wipe Personal Data

Whether you're dealing with a cell phone, tablet, or laptop computer, you almost certainly have some personal information stored on the device you'd like to dump. This could be a bit of data stored in a single app or program, but it might still pose a security risk to you if it is recovered by the wrong people. It is best to go through some steps to wipe the data. Most devices have an option for a reset that entirely wipes the drives of any data you've saved. In many cases, a professional recycler will also check for data and wipe it for you as part of their services.

Recycle Responsibly

Recycling is a great option for getting rid of outdated electronics. These facilities have the tools necessary to get usable parts out of your equipment. Depending on what kinds of components are in the things you bring them, these electronics recycling companies may pay you some cash to take the stuff off your hands. Before you make a trip to one of these facilities, it is a good idea to check what items they definitely will not accept.

Remove Batteries

You should check any battery-powered devices and remove their power sources before tossing them. Some recycling facilities do not accept certain types of batteries. Rechargeable batteries are a popular option for most electronics. However, these kinds of components contain chemicals that are harmful to people and the environment.

Create a Professional Action Plan

A person may work for or run a business that is planning to upgrade its tech. If this is so, the company will probably look for ways to offload the old devices. Getting rid of outdated professional electronics can have a few more steps than personal devices. The company may have requirements already outlined, or it may need to follow industry guidelines to the letter. You can evaluate the logistic and legal costs of compliance in these areas.


It may be tempting to toss your outmoded devices in the same bin as you do your regular trash, but that isn't the most efficient way to get rid of these things. There are also environmental concerns to take into consideration. If electronics are retired properly, certain industries may be able to put some of their parts back into use with new devices. If possible, obtain verification that your devices have undergone proper procedures. There may be regulations you have to follow in your area during this process.


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