Old Devices: Recycle, donate or dispose?

Technology is constantly changing. Every few years, you may replace older models with something newer. But what do you do with your old devices? Here are a few options for you to consider. 

Recycle it. 

Recycling your old devices is a great option! There are several non-profit organizations that can help. Keep in mind that recycling old tech requires special facilities. Check out the Consumer Technology Association has an online search tool that lets you enter your zip code to find nearby tech recycling centers. Call2Recycle is another option. Offering drop locations around the country, they likely have a location near you. 

Many tech retailers and manufacturers offer recycling services for older devices, and they may let you drop off or mail in what you no longer want or need. The EPA offers many suggestions. Click here to learn more. 

There are a few options for old devices when the time comes to upgrade.

Donate your old devices. 

Sometimes we upgrade devices while they still work. If that’s the case, donating it is a great option! Charities and non-profit organizations can find a use for older technology. Check with local organizations or check out this article for some ideas about where to donate your old devices.

Before you donate or recycle your device 

When you replace your device, one thing you must do is erase the data off of the old one. To erase, you’ll open “settings.” See below for instructions about how to erase the data off of an old iPhone/iOS device or an Android device.

iPhone / iOS 

On an iPhone or other iOS device, erase your data by:

Settings > General > Transfer or reset > Erase all content and settings > Erase [device]


On an Android device, erase your data by:

Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset > Reset device

As technology changes and you replace your devices, you may not know what to do with them. Consider recycling or donating them next time you upgrade!