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Most of us have old electronics lying around our home that we have no idea what to do with. Well, there’s an easy and environmentally-friendly way to get rid of them. Tech expert Avery Swartz shares some tips below.

Donate to charity

If your device still works and you just don’t want to use it anymore, donate it to a charity. Get as much use of your old electronics as you can.

Recycle

Once your old devices are done, it’s important you get rid of them properly. Up to 80 percent of smartphones can be recycled and they’re useful because they contain glass, plastic, gold and copper.

There are more than 2,300 Recycle My Electronics authorized collection locations across Canada including dedicated drop-off locations and return-to-retail locations. Recycle My Electronics only works with recyclers who have been verified under the national Electronics Recycling Standard (ERS), which was designed by the electronics industry to ensure that end-of-life electronics are managed in a safe and environmentally sound manner. This means that all Recycle My Electronics recyclers are prohibited from exporting electronics or substances of concern to non-OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) nations.

Finding your nearest collection location is as simple as visiting the Recycle My Electronics website, selecting your province and then entering your postal code or address. You’ll be shown all the collection locations near you, whether it’s a Recycle My Electronics dropoff centre, a return-to-retail location, even a special collection event.

Prepare your electronics before you recycle them
If you can turn it on, remove anything you can. If it’s a cellphone, take out the SIM card. Check the floppy disk drive in old computers. Take out old USB drives. If you can turn it on, most devices will have a format setting, so you should revert it back to factory settings.

If you can’t turn it on, don’t worry—others won’t be able to either. When the device gets recycled, it goes through a chipper and gets separated into their parts.

Don’t take a hammer to your devices. Many of them have lithium batteries that could be dangerous.