These days technology seems to move so fast that a shiny new gadget becomes obsolete in the time it takes you to unbox it. It’s incredibly annoying, sure, but it also leads to an excess of tech waste that, if thrown in the regular old trash, is harmful to the environment because of all the toxic stuff inside it. So how the fuck do you get rid of it?
Here’s how you should dispose old tech trash without being a straight-up jerk to the planet.
Instead of chucking it in the bin, why not try and hock it for some cash? Unless it’s completely obliterated, even old tech can be sold on sites like eBay, Gumtree or Craigslist. Hell, even Nintendo 64s and their games are still in high demand.
Old iPhones especially can fetch decent prices online. A used iPhone 11 in good condition could get you over 700 bucks. You can suss out what yours is worth with this handy tool right here. Even if it doesn’t work, nerds with heaps of spare time often buy bung gadgets on the cheap to repair or harvest for spare parts. So try your luck.
Even if it has no worth to you, why not give someone else the opportunity to use it? Profit-for-Purpose start-up Zolo collects old business tech, wipes data securely and donates devices to kids and communities in need, creating equal learning opportunities. You can book a free e-waste collection here.
Heaps of other places will take old tech off your hands, like Salvation Army and givenow.com.au. Of course, this is only if it’s still functional, don’t just dump a heap of broken shit at your local Salvos.
If you’re convinced it’s worth absolutely nothing or it’s well and truly fucked, make sure you ditch it the right way. If you just whack it in the bin, all of the carcinogenic materials inside will end up sitting in a landfill or shipped off to another country where it’s usually burned, neither of which is good for the planet.
The easiest and cheapest way to dump your e-waste is to suss out drop-off points in your area. For example, the Sydney council hosts drop-off days where you can safely unload your junk and know that it’s being taken care of in the right way.
What happens to it all, you ask? They break that shit down. Literally.
“All the e-waste collected by the City of Sydney is processed locally, in Villawood, by our contractor Sims Recycling Solutions, where over 95% of it is recycled,” says the City of Sydney website. “Components are stripped, then broken down into commodities and circulated back into the market.”
A quick Google search will show you your closest drop-off point. If you’re heaps lazy, some companies will come pick up your stuff for a fee or if you’re lucky, they might even do it for free.
And if you’re chucking an old phone, fang it over to Mobile Muster, who have drop-off points in a heap of retail stores and will even let you send it in via post. Earlier this year, their Take 3 for the Sea initiative saw them recycle over 30,000 mobiles, batteries and chargers. This result helped them support Take 3 for the Sea in its mission to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways.