When it comes time to get rid of an old phone or computer, you don’t want to simply throw one of those devices in the trash. Tossing your electronics in the regular garbage bin is illegal in most areas, and that is just one of the reasons why everyone should learn how to properly recycle their electronics.
Copy All Important Data
The very first step in this process is going through the device to see if it has any data that you want to keep. Even if the phone or computer is relatively old, it might still have some photos or files that you want to keep. The easiest way to transfer that data is to plug in an inexpensive thumb drive. Modern thumb drives have an incredible amount of storage, and it is always a good idea to keep a few of them around your home.
Factory Reset and Wipe the Data
Before the device is recycled, you must perform a factory reset and wipe the data. Most recycling centers are very trustworthy, but you never want your private data getting into the wrong hands. Luckily, your device probably has a factory reset option in the settings. You can also manually format each drive, and that should permanently destroy all of the information that is on the device.
Head to a Local Electronics Recycling Center
Most electronic devices contain many different types of materials, and each component must be taken apart in order for the device to be properly recycled. A smartphone, computer, and laptop recyclingcenter is going to disassemble your device and reuse as much of that material as possible. They are also going to minimize the amount of waste that gets back into the environment.
Take It to an Electronics Store
If you can’t find a nearby e-waste center, then you should call a few local electronics stores. Some major electronics chains offer free or low-cost recycling services for electronic devices. One of those companies might even give you a discount on a future purchase if you bring in a factory reset device that is still usable.
In addition to phones and computers, you also need to makes sure that you properly dispose of tablets, gaming consoles, and smart TVs. Those devices often contain quite a bit of personal information, and a criminal could fish them out of the trash and steal your identity if you aren’t careful.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.