How to safely and properly dispose of your old and unwanted electronics

Whatever you do, do not throw your old electronics in the trash.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Electronic waste is a big problem and it's annoying to have old devices cluttering your house. One study estimates only about 20% of old electronics is disposed of properly.

By getting rid of your old tech properly and safely, you might even be able to make a little money.

When it's time to upgrade to the newest, latest, greatest tech gadget, you have probably found yourself in a common conundrum, on not knowing what to do with it.

"There are a lot of different online marketplaces that make it really easy for you to sell your old computers and devices. You might want to do a little bit of research ahead of time to make sure that you're pricing it appropriately," said Yael Grauer, Consumer Reports Tech Editor.

But what if it's broken? Consumer Reports says believe it or not, there's also a strong market for that. On eBay, they recently found a MacBook Pro selling for $350 and a broken older iPad Pro for $199.

If you don't want the hassle of listing and selling an item yourself, online buyback sites like BuyBackWorld and Gazelle give you a quote. Accept the offer then ship your gadgets to them with a prepaid shipping label.

Another way to get rid of old devices? Donate them.

"You might have a used computer that you don't really need any more that's just collecting dust. But it could be really valuable for a family that doesn't have the resources to buy one," said Grauer.

Digitunity will match you with pre-qualified organizations in your area that will give your old computer a new life.

Donating your old phone or tablet to Cellphonesforsoldiers helps them provide international calling cards to troops. And the Hearing Aid Project will refurbish your old hearing aids for low-income people nationwide.

But whatever you do, do not throw your old electronics in the trash.

Check out Earth911 to find a recycling location near you or call your town and ask about electronic trash collection events.

CR says before you get rid of any old tech, be sure to completely erase the hard drive and remove all personally identifiable information.

For more information:
How to recycle electronics
What to do with your old laptop
Getting rid of stuff at home
How to wipe your device clean
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