As you’re doing some spring cleaning, you may stumble on an outdated laptop at the bottom of the closet, or some old phones stashed in a junk drawer.

But instead of tossing them in the trash, there are much better options for those old devices, and some could even get you some money.

Friends Carol Lawrence and Susan Sipple recently updated their smartphones.

But at home, Sipple said, “I have five phones, flip phones too!”

Lawrence said her stash has been even worse.

“It sits there, it collects dust, and then you add another and another,” she said. “And when you turn around you have seven phones, like I did.”

What you can do with those old phones

That’s what Alex Hausfeld of uBreakiFix By Asurion refers to as the “tech graveyard,” that everyone seems to have.

“Usually, it’s either a shoe box or a closet or a junk drawer,” he said.

Hausfeld says the last thing to do with old devices, is toss them in the trash.

“That’s because of the harmful chemicals that can be released into the environment whether it’s burned or goes into a landfill,” he said.

Instead, he says to repurpose old devices.

An example, he says, is using old smartphones as security cameras.

“Baby monitors are another one,” he said.

Or he says you can make anywhere from $25 to several hundred dollars if you sell a device at one of many reselling sites online. Just make sure it’s wiped clean.

“Be sure all of your personal information is off of it,” he said.

Recycle old tech

Hausfeld manages a uBreakiFix by Asurion store, which partners with Samsung, to help customers recycle tech for free.

“We will recycle anything from phones, to old chargers, old cables, to batteries,” said Mark Williams, Head of Customer Care with Samsung.

Williams says parts are reused when possible, or disposed of properly.

When a device breaks down, Williams also suggests you repair it, rather than replace it.

“If you want to stretch your dollars,” he said, “you can keep your device a year or two longer by just getting it fixed and it’ll perform like it did when you first got it.”

One last option for old devices: help others.

Carol Lawrence and Susan Sipple suggest you consider donating them, in their case to help seniors and victims of domestic violence.

“If it can help somebody else then that’s what we should do,” Lawrence said.

So recycle, sell, repair, or repurpose, and that way, you don’t waste your money.


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