If you can manage to get two or three years out of just about any electronic gadget these days, you can consider yourself pretty lucky. Most gadgets, including mobile phones, laptops, and tablets, are not built to last. In fact, it is just the opposite. The manufacturers want you to spend more money, so they make sure that you are going to have to upgrade. The problem is, when you upgrade, what do you do with the old gadgets that you are no longer using? Throwing them away is dangerous, but you don’t want them sitting around and gathering dust either. Today we are going to look at how to safely dispose of old electronic gadgets.

Don’t Throw it Away

Many people don’t realize that computers and other electronic gadgets contain substances that are hazardous, and that can contaminate soil and water. Some of the main toxins in these devices include lead, chromium, cadmium, polychlorinated biphenyls, and brominated flame retardants. These are not items that should be sent to the dump, and they need to be disposed of properly for public safety.

If your old gadgets are still in good working order and condition, but you simply want to upgrade, you can place ads on sites such as Craigslist, Facebook buy and sell groups, etc., and find a local buyer for your items. Then, you don’t even have to worry about disposing of them, because they are being used by someone else. Be sure to clean the gadgets, and wipe all of your personal information away before you sell laptop and other computer gear, to avoid the risk of identity theft and fraud.

Another option would be to sell your gadgets through websites that specialize in buying, refurbishing, and reselling electronic gadgets. The better condition the gadgets are in, the more money you are going to make. They will be fixed up, and sold in like new condition at a discounted price to someone else who needs them. It’s a win-win for everyone, not to mention the environment.

Or, you might even want to consider a charitable donation so your gadgets can be used by others. Some charities, including Goodwill, accept used gear and resell it, or use it in-house. The World Computer Exchange also accepts old gadgets, and then makes sure that they can be used by students in schools, youth centers, libraries, etc. in 47 countries around the globe. If you have a large donation, please contact the World Computer Exchange before sending it in to find out how to send it.

If the old gadgets are no longer in good condition, you have a few options for their disposal, including:
• Manufacturer Take-Backs – There is legislation in 28 states that require manufacturers of electronic gadgets to take back equipment when it no longer works. Some companies offer voluntary take-backs even if there are no laws, while others offer programs that let businesses return gadgets through the mail and at specific drop-off locations. You will need to contact the manufacturers to find out which programs they offer, and how to send in your old gadgets.

• E-Waste Recyclers – Also referred to as e-Stewards, e-waste recyclers have special certification that allows them to properly dispose of old electronic gadgets, including computers and laptops. They must comply with the ISO 14001 standard for global environmental management, as well as the e-Stewards Standard. The certification was created by the Basel Action Network, to identify the recyclers that are globally responsible. When you use a certified recycler for your old gadgets, you can be sure that they will be safely disposed of, and not sitting in a landfill.

Author's Bio: 

Author's Bio:
Jane Hurst, writer from San Francisco. Find her on Twitter!