How to Recycle Your Electronics for Good

October 13, 2022
4 min read

Sierra Jones-Vassos

Marketing Coordinator

How to donate your electronics for good

Get the 411 on responsibly recycling and donating electronics.

As technology advances, so does the need to update our devices. A report from the World Economic Forum stated that each year, roughly 50 million tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) is produced; out of this amount, 20% is formally recycled. Though this number is alarming, you can take actions to work toward a circular economy and help limit the amount of waste.  

Not only is the amount of waste a concern, but if electronics are disposed of improperly, it can cause health and environmental risks; computer monitors can omit mercury, and appliances like air conditioners and fridges release greenhouse gasses. If you’re getting a new electronic or simply cleaning out your junk drawer, feel good about helping others and the environment when you recycle or donate your device. 

What to do before you get rid of your electronics

Before donating your computer, laptop, tablet, or cell phone, you’ll need to take a few steps so you can drop off or ship out your device: 

  1. Back up any important files, documents, and photos 
  2. Cancel any subscriptions the device is linked to or remove that device from your subscriptions
  3. Protect your personal information by wiping your electronics of personal information 
  4. Restore your device to factory settings 
  5. Remove any SIM cards, hard drives, floppy disks, USBs, CDs, or DVDs 
  6. Clean your device 

If you’re recycling or donating your electronics and are concerned about data security, call the organization and ask if they can send you a video of your hardware being destroyed. Many establishments offer these services.

3 ways to get rid of your old electronics and create an impact 

If you have electronics in usable or damaged condition, you might be surprised that there are several ways to keep these items out of landfills and give them a new life. Check out some ways you can feel good about contributing to a circular economy and give new life to your old device. 

1. Recycle with your municipality 

Ensuring you take the time to recycle your electronics properly at your local recycling drop-off centre can make you feel good about protecting others and the planet. 

Search for recycling drop-offs in your town online, or see if there are any upcoming special recycling or zero waste events to learn when and how to drop off your device. 

2. Donate your electronics 

No matter the state of your device, donating your electronics can be a great way to give back to your local or global community. Most charities and non-profits will accept your functional device. Some common items charitable organizations take are: phones, TVs, computers, laptops, MP3 players, keyboards, and computer mice. Call the organization before dropping anything off to check on what they need or welcome as donations

Have a device that’s broken? Organizations like Electronic Recycling Association, Computer for Schools plus (CFS+), and World Computer Exchange will refurbish your unusable electronic or cell phone and find it a new home. 

3. Sell your old device 

If you have a device to recycle, you could sell your electronics back to the store or through Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, Craigslist, or eBay and then donate a portion or all of the proceeds to charity through your Impact Account

Once you’ve sold your item, you can add the money to your account, then gift charitable dollars to any Canadian registered charity or charities of your choice. You’ll receive an immediate tax receipt for your charitable gift. Not only will you feel good about contributing to a circular economy, but you’ll create an added impact by gifting the proceeds to contribute to the brighter world you believe in. 

If you feel inspired to create an impact, then Charitable Impact is here for you. With our free Impact Account, you can support all of your favourite causes from one place. Add funds to your account at any time, take the time and space to plan your impact, and then send gifts from your account to the causes you care about. Sign up for a free account today to get started!