Disposing Old Electronics while Moving

Vintage consumer electronics inside a funky thrift antique store

Disposing Old Electronics while Moving

Let’s say you’re moving to a smaller place and need to downgrade, or you’re upgrading your home theatre and want to get rid of an old television. Whatever your situation is, getting rid of electronic waste isn’t as simple as putting it on the side of the street. Items like fax machines, VCRs, computer keyboards and mice, laptops, cameras, and cell phone batteries are banned from normal garbage cans in New York City.  If you try to get rid of them by leaving them on the side of the curb you can end up subject to hefty fines. Don’t worry though; you can still totally get rid of these items (you don’t have to maintain an electronics junkyard in your house.) Here’s some of the choices that you have.

 

Sell them

There’s actually a thriving market for old, gently used, or obsolete electronics. Many people are willing to use older electronics just as they are if they still work, while others will recycle some of the internal materials in order to build larger Frankensteined together machines. There are also tons of places that will pay just for the precious metals (like cadmium) within the electronics, which they then sell back to larger manufacturers. If you wouldn’t mind making a little extra money, this is a great option for you.

 

Donate them

Charities like Housing Works or Goodwill will gladly accept any used electronics and make them available for (very cheap) sale or donation for others that might be able to use them – make sure to call the charity venue beforehand, since many places have size and weight requirements; you don’t want to travel out to a charity venue with heavy electronics only to find out that they aren’t viable for donation. The functional New York Stuff Exchange is another fantastic option.

 

Try giving it to the retailer

If you’re purchasing new electronics from a retailer – whether an independant business or a big box store – ask  them if they would take the old one to resell or recycle – the likelihood is that they would.

 

Give it back to the manufacturer

Electronics manufacturers are actually legally obligated to take back old electronic items. Try calling the manufacturer of your appliance and figure out how you can get it back to them – many would provide you with a pre-labelled box or envelope to send it back to them, with postage fully paid in advance.   

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