With Santa’s presents finally unwrapped and our new gadgets activated after Hanukkah, device-lovers face the recurrent conundrum of figuring out what to do with our old devices. Stats show that we unwrapped alot of devices this year, as well. 

Forecasts suggest that there will be around 6.58 network connected devices per person around the globe this year. 


As new devices are gifted, old ones get tossed, with more than 50 tons of e-waste created by global citizens. Trashing your device is never a good idea, for eco-reasons, but also because our devices can deliver good in so many other ways. Here are some ideas:

Start By Properly Deleting Your Data

Before donating, selling or recycling your device – in any manner – make sure to properly erase your hard drives and restore factory settings on your phones. Komando has great how-tos on deleting data on PCs and Macs, restoring settings on iPhone and Android phones and more. Sensitive information including tax returns, social security numbers and health records can be accessed unless properly removed. Don’t skip the effort!

Donate Your Devices To Kids, Soldiers And Others In Need

Remote learning needs have stressed school budgets and increased the need for digital connectivity across communities. Help bridge e-learning and link those in need by donating your computers, mobile devices and more to the following:

National Cristina Foundation is a private operating foundation working to advance digital inclusion by building awareness about the value of technology reuse. Desktop computers, laptops, printers, monitors, and other equipment coming out of their first place of use can be given a second productive life for developing human potential. Learn more here.

Hope Phones safely recycles your phone or tablet to fund healthcare programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Each smart phone donated and recycled funds Medic Mobile projects supporting health workers in 26 countries around the world. Health workers use the phones to register pregnancies, track disease outbreaks faster, monitor essential medicine stock and communicate about emergencies. Learn more here.

Cellphones for Soldiers – is a 501c3 non-profit charity organization for recycling cell phones or tablets. The group helps our troops by selling donated mobile phones and using funds to purchase phone cards for troops. Learn more here.

Get Money For Your Devices

Many retailers and third parties make it easy to get cash for your in-good-condition devices. Here are just a few:

WalmartTurn wearables, phones, tables, laptops and more into e-gift cardClick here for Walmart details
AppleTrade in your eligible device for credit for purchase, or get an Apple Gift Card Click here for Apple details
Game StopTrade in current-gen games, hardware/consoles, controllers, headsets, and phones for in-store creditClick here for GameStop details
Gazelle Turn wearables, phones, tables, laptops and more into an Amazon Gift Card, PayPal credit or personal checkClick here for Gazelle details
For full details, visit retailer

Turn Your Old Device Into Something New

With a few steps, your old iPhones can be repurposed for exciting, new purposes. Need a new universal remote, a dedicated security camera or new photo frame? With some additional software or accessories, your Android and and Apple phones and tables can convert to something new, read more on how.

Want to use your device to power scientific research? Here are 9 ways to do so.

If In Doubt, Recycle

Americans throw out 151 million phones each year. But according to the EPA, for every one million cellphones that are recycled, 35,000 lbs. of copper, 772 lbs. of silver, 75 lbs. of gold and 33 lbs. of palladium can be recovered.

Recycle any device at your local recycling center or at your nearest Best Buy. The retailer takes all kinds of used tech, regardless of where you bought it, how old it is or who made it.