Many of us are utilizing this opportunity to clean and tackle those forgotten places within our homes. You know, the closet at the end of the hall filled with misfit monitors, broken keyboards, and other random things you may not have found a home for over the last few months. So now that the house is cleaned, we must do our part to handle our waste appropriately and lessen waste.

So what now? Were you thinking about putting everything in the trash? Before you do that, please continue reading. Many electronics contain harmful materials, such as lead. That is why electronics can’t be put in the garbage and must be reused, recycled, or managed as hazardous waste.

Here are some tips to help you tackle the whole cleaning and recycling process:

  • Make a list of all the electronics you would like to get rid of, including estimated age and working conditions.

2) Figure out if there is any sensitive data on the devices. Do you need the data anymore? Can you remove it yourself3) Do you need the electronics gone by a specific date? Are you able to drop them off somewhere, or will someone have to come to pick them up for you?

4) Have you checked to see if the electronics have a trade-in program? Sometimes manufacturers have a take-back program and may have offers for both working and non-working devices.

5) If your computer(s) or other electronics are working, you may be able to donate them to a school, nonprofit, or another organization. Call the organization first to make sure the equipment would be useful.

6) If your electronics are completely broken or obsolete and can’t be reused, you will have to recycle. Before taking your electronics to a collection site or recycler, find out what is accepted, if there is a charge, and if the recycler can arrange a curbside pick-up or drop off on-site.