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Here’s what to do with unwanted, old tech devices

Here are 4 tips to make use of your old tech devices

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Lisa Gao holds two iPhones in her hand.

In this Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, photo, Lisa Gao compares a black iPhone 7, right, with her iPhone 6 at the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue, in Chicago. Apple, Samsung and other phone companies keep coming out with more powerful phones with better cameras and a bevy of bells and whistles. Rather than relegate an earlier model to a desk drawer, consider donating, reusing, recycling or reselling it.

Kiichiro Sato, Associated Press

Have you recently upgraded to a new phone or laptop? What about earphones and chargers? Instead of keeping your old tech in a hidden drawer or throwing the never-to-be-used-again rubbish in the dumpster, here is a list of smarter things you can do with what is old and unwanted.

1. Sell or trade it

Online classifieds are always an easy go-to. Think Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. The idea is to find someone who can get in touch with you and quickly make a transaction.

Also, remember that a buyer will want to take a look at what their purchasing before they pay you so have everything you promised in the ad.

Another option is the online marketplace, eBay.

If you’re interested in trading in the device, companies like Decluttr and Gazelle are great options, too, per USA Today.

2. Recycle

According to Consumer Reports, many nonprofit organizations offer to recycle old electronics.

Call2Recycle can help you drop-off locations for rechargeable batteries and cell phones near you.

Other sites like Computer Technology Association’s Recycle Locator or Computer Technology Association’s Recycle Locator can also help you find a recycler.

3. Donate

If the technology still works, donating it is a good option. You can check in with local organizations. Many programs are set up specifically for this purpose like Dell Reconnect, a partnership with Goodwill that takes in any brand of computer. You can simply drop off the device at a participating Goodwill location.

The World Computer Exchange is another such program that has a mission to reduce the digital divide.

4. Reuse

Old technology can often be used to create something new altogether. According to Mashable, you can turn an old computer into a home theater or a jukebox or an aquarium, an old webcam into a security camera, an old media player into a portable drive — The possibilities are endless!