How Do You Get Rid of Old Tech Devices?

Last week we discussed what old tech we are reluctant to give up. That leads to the obvious question of what we do with those old tech devices once we finally decide they’ve served us well, but it’s time for them to be retired.

It’s a question whose answer might change throughout the years. It was a much easier decision when we only needed to decide what to do with an old computer and a few peripherals. But now with mobile devices added to the mix, we have phones, tablets, wearables, etc. Our disposal plan might change along with the times, the more devices we accumulate, both individually and as a society. We asked our writers, “How Do You Get Rid of Old Tech Devices?

Our Opinion

For Simon it first depends on whether or not he wants to let go, as he notes, “I have an awful penchant of keeping old devices ‘just in case.’ “ He’s not quite sure why he’ll ever need an “ancient” Android phone, but he’s still holding onto it away. But once he does decide to get rid of them, they usually go into the recycling. Many places will allow you to send in devices that they’ll recycle for you, but with bigger machines, “it’s often a trip to a nearby recycling plant to properly dispose of them.”

Alex does his best to “recycle all my junk electronics” and notes that Best Buy has a great program. You can drop off a box of various electronics there, and they’ll take care of it for you. But if he has a device that is still working, he likes to “try and pawn it off on a friend or family member.” Sometimes he repurposes them, such as an HTC One M7 that he has revived and now uses as a dedicated podcast device.


Phil hangs on to almost everything as he sees himself as a “lifetime maker and taker-aparter of gadgets.” He reuses cases for future projects and “frankensteins” things together, such as turning a USB passthrough and a power bank into an “impromptu e-cig battery with the help of some hot glue and cable ties.” They have municipal dumps in the U.K. that recycle TVs, monitors, and computers, but he believes all they do is just ship them to China.

Robert sells or gets rid of mostly all of his old tech devices for the most part, though sometimes old computers and parts will get used to build a basic computer or similar for his parents. He admits, though, to some degree of “seller’s remorse” for things like game consoles or even smartphones to a lesser extent. “Holding onto them would offer a certain degree of sentimental value.”

Derrik seems to do a combination of all the above methods, and I wish that’s what I did, but in reality, I just end up hanging onto them. We say we’ll recycle, but we never get around to it. I have old computers stored around the house in various degrees of working order. I like to hold on to old phones and tablets as a backup, but often my son borrows them when he breaks his, and then breaks those, and I never see them again.

Your Opinion

Certainly this is a topic you can weigh in on. Everyone has old devices, such as mobiles, computers, peripherals, etc. What do you do with them? Recycle? Give them away? Sell them? Just keep them around? How do you get rid of your old tech devices? Join our conversation below in the comments and let us know!

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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