Managing e-Waste: How To Dispose Your Electronics

The constant evolution of electronics and technology is creating a catastrophic situation for landfills around the world. While one individual cell phone or laptop doesn’t take up all that much space in the ground, the seemingly endless flow of outdated tech is creating both a storage and toxin situation around the world. This isn’t something that’s stopping anytime soon either.

Disposed technology, which is known as e-waste, contains harmful chemicals that are used during manufacturing processes to make them safe for us to handle at the cost of the environment around us. Simply tossing these items in a landfill and hoping for the best is something that has been going on for too long and the results are starting to speak for themselves. “Brown sites” used for residential development when landfills are full are increasingly failing to meet building codes due to toxic buildups in the soil. There’s also a sharp rise in respiratory issues where incineration is used as a primary disposal method.

It’s time to rethink our current way of thinking.

There’s are several different disposal methods that will help prevent your tech from reaching a landfill too early. While we might think a certain phone, tablet, computer, or television set is outdated due to a different advancement in their associated technologies, it is likely still perfectly usable to someone else and should therefore be exposed to this market of secondary users before making the untimely decision to bin it.

  1. Community Donations

Making a technology donation to a needed member of your local community is a great first step to consider. Donations are tax deductible in many areas and oftentimes regional tax authorities will accept write offs for the entire resale value when completing a self assessment. This sort of price isn’t usually reached when trying to sell the item privately due to the rapidly decreasing value of outdated tech.

There are many potential avenues to explore here. Outdated technology is usually useful to schools that offer electronics or computer classes as live technology can be taken apart, explored, or even rebuilt using more modern components. Older computer systems are also usually welcome in schools to create secondary IT labs that help with the spillover of increasing classroom sizes. Older computers are also sometimes deployed within a classroom to help teachers with lesson preparation and content research.

There are also global donation programs that are well-worth considering. Freegle is an example of this and helps connect offered technology with members of your local community who would graciously receive it. Oftentimes it only takes a few hours for requests to start coming through and will almost automatically help prevent tech from going to a landfill.

  1. Buy-Back Programs

Leading electronic retailers worldwide usually have some form of buy-back or trade-in program that allow you to use the value of your outdated technology towards a more current purchase. These stores will usually release the purchased tech onto the secondary or used market themselves, which saves you the hassle of trying to source a willing buyer. However, it’s important to note that the value you receive for your trade-ins will rarely be the actual resale value and it is often worth your time to try and find a willing buyer or compare the various options.

That isn’t a universal rule though. It does pay to shop around and there are usually specialty buyers who deal in specific technology. This specificity will almost always increase the trade value of your technology. One of the best avenues to explore for mobile technology is This provider instantly compares all of the leading trade services around the United Kingdom to ensure you’re receiving the best possible deal on any phone or tablet sale.

  1. Private Sales

There are likely buyers out there for your outdated technology and they’re waiting to be found. Private auction websites like eBay are a great place to start listing unwanted items, but it’s important to list items as soon as they’re unwanted as they will lose both value and popularity as time goes on and newer technology enters the market place.

For larger items that require shipping, it is usually best to explore local selling options that allow buyers to come to you rather than attempting to ship anything large and fragile. Gumtree and Shpock both offer excellent apps that connect you with your neighbourhood and are completely free to use.

  1. Local Recycling Programs

There are recycling programs around the world that accept technology and dispose of it in a safe way. It is possible to recycle many small electronics at kerbside recycling collections, but larger items will require you to visit a local recycling centre for proper disposal. Household Waste Recycling Centres are located around the United Kingdom and are happy to accept larger waste for correct disposal. Some of these recycling centres will have added fees associated with disposing electronics, so it’s important to check ahead of time to see whether or not these will apply to your specific tech.

There’s simply no reason to carelessly throw your electronics away in the trash and poison the planet any longer. There are several options above for ensuring your tech has another usable life elsewhere or is safely disposed with minimal impact on the world around us.