computers-for-recyclingSo you got a new wide screen TV or smartphone recently. What do you do with the old one? According to Time, the last thing you should do with it is throw it away with the trash. Why?

First, your old technology devices are full of arsenic, lead, and cadmium — things that should never make it into a landfill where they leak into the ecosystem, damaging plant and animal life and impacting the food supply.  Second, if you throw your old hardware away, there’s no telling who might be able to access your personal data. What else can you do? Time says there are 4 options.

Recycle It

Recycling companies like Electronic Recyclers International (ERI) can help. They partner with stores like BestBuy and Staples to dispose of electronic components responsibly. Apple also helps recycle its own products.  Be sure to check with your city or town, too, to see what recycling programs are offered locally.

Making the effort to see your old stuff gets taken care of properly is important. Too many fringe operators just pack it up and ship it to undeveloped countries, where it can poison local people.

Repurpose It

Just because you bought a new iPhone 6+ doesn’t mean your old iPhone 4 is useless. Time has a list of 5 things you can do with the old one, including using it as a smart home control panel or a baby monitor.

Resell It

Lots of people are looking for old tech hardware. They use it for inexpensive spare parts or reconfigure it for a home server or backup system. Old XBox machines can fetch as much as $100 on EBay. Other tech devices get sold on Craigslist. Private companies like Gazelle trade in old machines and apply the allowance against the price of new equipment.

Donate It

Get-Well Gamers collects old video game consoles and brings them to children’s hospitals. Your old PlayStation 3 may bring hours of enjoyment to a disadvantaged youth. Even your old computer could be useful to someone who knows how to wipe the hard drive and install a new operating system. Just make sure you erase your personal data before turning over your machine to someone else.

The Takeaway

Don’t just put your old tech hardware out by the curb on trash day. Dispose of it responsibly to protect your personal information and to keep it out of a landfill somewhere on the other side of the world.

Source: : Photo credit: Sustainablog