Knowing what to do with old electronics can save you time, money, and energy when things go wrong. When you buy an electronic, you want it to last a long time. Electronics like desktop computers, laptops, and phones are all investments, so you want to get your money's worth before you throw them out.
However, things like accidents and planned obsolescence make getting your money’s worth a challenge. Because technology is still advancing, sometimes your computer or phone can't keep up with the constant updates and increasing demands. Not to mention, some companies deliberately plan for you to upgrade or replace your device in a few years.
That doesn't mean you have to throw out your electronics, though. Repairs, upgrades, and repurposing can help you stretch the lifespan of your devices. Once you're finally finished with them, responsible disposal can ensure that you and the environment are safe from harm.
Repair or Replace?
A laptop with a broken hinge, a smartphone with a cracked screen, a desktop with a faulty component. While these might seem like good reasons to replace your current computer or phone, it might be in everyone's best interest to seek the services of a repair person, instead.
While some brands are pushing back against repairs to their devices, that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. You bought the device, so you should have a say in when you stop using it. A fixable issue shouldn't be the reason you shell out on an entirely new system. Even if your warranty doesn't cover a problem, that doesn't mean you're out of options.
Many superficial problems can be fixed, parts can be replaced, and your phone or computer can be up and running in no time. In some cases, you might not even need to hire a repair service. While many people feel daunted by the idea of fixing their own computer, some fixes are relatively straightforward. Guides and forums can be an excellent resource for those trying to solve a problem at home.
If you think your repair requires a professional, there are IT services everywhere that deal with hardware and software issues.
Upgrading Old Electronics
As mentioned above, updates to operating systems and sites can put extra pressure on your computer. However, updates can be made to lengthen your computer's lifespan. While laptops are harder to upgrade due to the size constraints and compact nature of their design, desktop users have a lot of options.
They can add memory and replace hardware, giving their computer a whole new lease on life. You can even build your own desktop, upgrading parts over time until you have a fully customized rig. Many gamers and computer-enthusiasts choose to build their computers versus buying them premade.
While it's harder to upgrade smartphones and laptops, it's not impossible. If your phone is running low on memory, you can just upgrade to a larger SD card. Some laptops also allow for the addition of RAM, increasing their processing power.
Repurposing Old Phones & Computers
If you do decide to replace your old computer or smartphone, that doesn't mean you have to throw the old one out. E-waste is a serious issue across the world, so you should avoid contributing to it when you can. Many devices that end up in electronic waste piles are still usable, just not in the way you might want.
Depending on an electronic's functionality, they can be repurposed in a number of ways. Old smartphones and tablets can be used as music players, streaming devices, digital libraries, kid's toys, and emergency spares.
Even if you don't want it around, donation or profit isn't out of the question. As long as you adequately protect yourself against data theft, nothing is stopping you from selling or exchanging it, or just giving it to someone less fortunate.
Protecting Your Data & Personal Information
Before you can safely sell, exchange, donate, or dispose of your electronics, you need to ensure that your personal information is wiped from the device. For computers, this means completely removing the hard-drive and destroying it. While factory resets can get rid of your data, tech-savvy hackers can still get to your personal information.
If you have a smartphone or smart home device that you want to donate, sell, or recycle, here's some information on how to prepare it. Removing the SIM card and factory resetting your phone should be enough in many cases.
If you're going to recycle your phone, it's crucial that you choose a legitimate e-waste service that won't steal your information or export your electronic waste to a developing country. While some of these services might advertise themselves as "free," that doesn't always mean that they're safe for everyone involved.
Selecting An E-Waste Service
If you're concerned about the effect that e-waste has on the environment and the people exposed to it, you might want an e-waste service that guarantees ecologically friendly recycling practices. Luckily, many of these exist in various parts throughout the US and Canada.
You will probably be asked to pay a fee, but this money goes towards processing your electronics safely and responsibly. Electronic recycling is expensive, and someone has to pay for it to be done properly.
If a company is offering free e-waste recycling, they have to be turning a profit somewhere. Chances are, they're doing it by exporting the e-waste to a developing country like China or India.
Doing your part to reduce waste will help the environment and reduce the amount of e-waste making its way into people's backyards. Luckily, some reputable junk haulers offer e-waste recycling on top of their existing services, which allows you to get rid of everything at once.
How Junk King Can Help
If you're clearing out an office, planning to move, or emptying a storage unit, you might find quite a bit of junk and e-waste that you need to get rid of. That's where Junk King comes in. We'll take everything, and make sure that all of it gets processed and handled correctly.
Up to 60% of the junk that we collect goes on to be recycled, reused, or donated to those who need it. We'll call you fifteen minutes before we arrive at your home or office and, once we arrive, will provide you with a transparent, no-obligation estimate for us to haul it all away.
Ready to get rid of that junk? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
You can make an appointment now by booking online or calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).