4 Alternative Ways to Recycle Your Old Gadgets

Learn how to recycle your old gadgets and reduce e-waste. Discover easy and eco-friendly ways to dispose of your electronics.

One of the biggest problems we (don’t want to but have to) face right now is how to get rid of our old gadgets as they get replaced by newer, stronger, more powerful versions. Previously we need only worry about this a few years after a purchase.

But in the age of smartphones, we’re looking at multiple launches of desktops, smartphones, tablets, phablets, wearable gadgets, portable gaming devices and the likes over the course of the same year.

The good news is, there is more than one way to skin a cat, and in handling old gadgets, there is actually more than one way to deal with them. Here are some suggestions on how to repurpose your old gadgets rather than keep them on the shelf collecting dust on your behalf.

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Sell Your Old Goods

While you may be chasing the latest fad in mobile gadgetry, the people around you may not be as excited about a new release. In fact, they probably don’t mind forking out less for an older version. Checking with your closest circle of friends and family for a potential buyer is probably the fastest way to get rid of your old toys.

Alternatively you can sell your goods online. There are plenty of places that will take in your beaten up iPad for a price, and if you have the time to ‘shop around’ you can even compare buyback prices and opt for the one that gives the best value for your old stuff.

sell old gadget

Not all buyback sites are created equal so here’s a nice guide to selling your old goods. If you didn’t click that last link, this is a reminder to backup your data, run a clean install or restore your devices to factory settings before letting go of your device.

Donate Them To Charity

If you don’t have the time to deal with these buying, selling or trade-in adventures, then consider donating the devices to charity or non-profit organizations such as World Computer Exchange, which are looking for computers, laptops, keyboards, web cams, scanners, modems, printers, etc to ship to developing countries and empower youths with tech and education.

cell phone donation

There are also plenty of sites that accept donated wares, get them refurbished then sell them to get proceeds for their organizational goals and purposes. You will be doing a lot of good in making sure your gadget can help someone financially. Want more places to donate your devices to? Check out this list.

Turn Them Into Something Else

Then there are gadgets that are too old to be of any use to anyone, and they have little to no monetary value left in their circuitboards. In that case, it’s probably a good idea to turn them into something else – preferably something extraordinary.

The Internet being a open vault for some pretty cool and ingenius ideas to solve common day problems is a great source for ideas on how to repurpose your old devices.

Homes for Pets: How’s this for a real-life fish screensaver. If you don’t like mixing water with electronics, old CRT monitors can also be a great place to store land loving critters (turtles, hamsters) who don’t mind the state of their new home.

fish tank

Turn It Into Art: Art is subjective but if you have a love for the weird yet beautiful, you can really breathe new life into your old devices, something like, turning your old CD into a bird sculpture.

cd art

Circuitboard Jewelry: Turn junk into jewelry like how Paola Mirai does it. For more ideas check out her behance page.

cirkuita jewelry

Personalized keyboards: Here’s a tutorial to really spruce up your old keyboard. Bet you can type up a new Sherlock Homes adventure with this kind of writing ammo.

stempunk keyboard

Send Them To be Recycled

Not creative enough to reintroduce your old gadget to the world in alternate form? Time to send it back to the factory – to be recycled. Recycling isn’t only for plastic, aluminium and glass no more. Gadget-recycling initiatives are rife in the manufacturing sector as well.

Companies like Apple and Samsung have their own recycling programs but they aren’t the only ones to do this. Here is a large list of recycling programs that are run by individual companies and non-profit organizations. Also, visit greenergadgets to find more places to recycle your gadgets.


Recycling is the way to go because you can’t toss it in the can like you do your regular trash. Many components in these gadgets are toxic and bad for the environment, so burying them in a landfill isn’t a good idea for the long term. If you hate plastics with a vengeance, this is another way you can watch out for mother Earth.

Wrap Up

Lastly, you can consider keeping your old gadgets for a bit longer, say 15 years. By then, it will probably be a modern day antique, much like how we view floppy disks today. Which method would you go for?