recycle old tech

How to get rid of all your old tech and gadgets

Technology is playing an increasing role in every aspect of our lives. Which means that we are gradually being surrounded by more and more gadgets in our home. This brings a whole new challenge as tech and gadgets wear out or become dated and we either want or need to replace them. What should we do with our old tech and gadgets?

It’s tempting just to throw them in the bin or take them to the local tip, but this isn’t the best thing to do. It creates e-waste, which can cause toxic substances such as lead and mercury spreading into soil and water. E-waste also means that valuable elements such as gold, silver, copper, platinum, aluminium and cobalt are being thrown away when they could be reused.

But what can we do about this? Where is the best place to get rid of your old tech and gadgets, and is it really worth making the effort to recycle them rather than throw them away?

In this article we look at:

  • Five advantages of recycling your tech and gadgets.
  • Where to recycle your old items.
  • How to keep your data secure.


Three advantages of recycling your tech and gadgets

  • A key advantage of recycling is that you are playing your part in reducing e-waste as described above. Many old tech items can be reused in some way, so you are helping to preserve the resources of the planet if you recycle your gadgets rather than throw them away.
  • By recycling your gadgets, you can provide others with the opportunity to use technology that may otherwise be out of their price range.
  • You may be able to benefit financially from recycling your own gadgets. As we will see later in this article, there are places to sell your goods for cash, or to trade them in for vouchers or newer goods.


So recycling sounds like a good idea in principle, but how do you actually go about it? Let’s take a look.


Where to recycle your old items

Here are six ideas as to how to part company with your old gadgets in a way that benefits you, others and the planet.


  • Trade them in

Many retailers will accept old devices either as a trade-in for new ones, or in return for gift or discount vouchers. Examples include Carphone Warehouse, Apple, Amazon and Curry’s, as well as mobile networks O2 and EE.


  • Sell them to a recycling site

Recycling sites such as Mazuma Mobile and Envirofone offer cash for old phones and laptops, which are then reconditioned to sell in developing countries.


  • Sell them to a commercial site

There are many different websites that will collect your old tech and gadgets and give you money for them, for example Music Magpie and Ziffit. Even if the prices are low, your gadgets will be taken care of and you will receive something in return.


  • Sell them privately

If your items are in demand and in good condition, you could also consider selling them privately on sites such as eBay, Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace.


  • Donate them to charity

It’s a great idea to donate your old gadgets to charity, and here are four options for doing so:

  • Look for company-run schemes such as Three’s Reconnected Scheme or Vodafone’s Great British Tech Appeal. These enable you to send your phone to them by post and they will then pass it on to various charities to give to someone in need.
  • WeeeCharity will collect – either via drop off at a centre or from your home – a wider range of working electrical goods such as laptops and will then recycle, refurbish or resell them to raise money for community projects. 
  • Other charities such as Water Aid and Oxfam have Fonebank schemes on their websites through which you can donate unwanted mobile phones for refurbishment or recycling.
  • A few high street charity shops will accept old electronic devices including The British Heart Foundation who have a list on their website of what they will not accept.


  • Take them to the council recycling centre

If none of the above options is viable, you can take your items to a council recycling centre and let them take care of things for you. To find recycling centres near you, simply enter your postcode on Recycle Your Electricals


How to keep your data secure

One very important consideration before you get rid of any old tech and gadgets is to wipe them clear of any personal data.

The procedure will vary between different types of gadgets and brands, but here is a quick overview of some of the most common devices likely to be recycled:



  • Sign out of all accounts on the device, especially financial, email, social media and cloud storage.
  • Remove the SIM card.
  • Use the Factory Reset tool to remove any information, documents, contacts, photos and music stored on the device.


Laptops and tablets

  • Ensure that you have back up copies of any information, documents and media on the device.
  • Delete everything from the device and empty the recycle bin.
  • Then follow the correct procedure for the type of device you have:
    • Windows. If you have a Windows 10 or 11 laptop use the Reset function. If you have an older version of Windows, use a tool such as Eraser to overwrite your data. 
    • Mac devices. There are various different reset methods depending on which version of the Mac operating system you have. For older Macs, you will need to use the Disk Utility.
    • Chromebook. You will need to use Powerwash which can be accessed from the Restart menu. 


So if you have recently upgraded your technology and now have old items to get rid of, we hope that this article has given you some ideas on how to go about that.

And if you are considering replacing some of your gadgets, and need a bit of a financial boost to do so, remember that Munzee offers 24 month loans that may be able to help.

Check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from Munzee Loans.