Boxing Day is finally upon us and along with it comes the excitement of setting up some new all-powerful gadget that was gifted to you on Christmas Day.
With 4K TVs, the Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 all likely to be found under trees and a good number of us looking to take advantage of the Boxing Day sales it begs the important question: What do we then do with our old gadgets?
If it’s not being handed down to a younger sibling or child then the likelihood is that we’ll just throw them away.
In fact every single year we produce a shocking 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste. Which is even more worrying when you think that we buy around 2 million tonnes of electrical goods every year too.
As millions of products in our living rooms are set to be made redundant you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s not actually that easy to get rid of your old gadgets.
We have some good news! It is incredibly easy to get rid of your old TV, smartphone or games console and in a way that helps other people or saves the planet.
How can I dispose of my old TV, smartphone or games console?
1. Donate it to a charity or someone in your area
If it still works and you still want it to go to a good home there are easy ways to let someone else still enjoy your unwanted gadgets for years to come.
Your local council will have specific information on donations and reuse and the government has this handy tool that lets you find your local council’s website.
Give it to someone in your local neighbourhood
Street bank is an amazing website lets you find, share and give away your unwanted items for free to the people in your local community. Sign-up takes no time at all and you can donate everything from TVs to textbooks. For peace of mind it’s supported by the charity NESTA and the UK Cabinet Office.
Now while it’s true that some charities won’t accept all your electrical goods there are some that will. The British Red Cross has a number of specialist charity shops that can take second-hand electronics and furniture. You can see where they are here on this map:
Failing that here are a list of just some of the charities that will take your old gadgets, some will even collect them from your house for free:
Just about every gadget you have in your home can be recycled, and that absolutely includes your now defunct iPad, TV or vacuum cleaner.
Every council in the UK will offer a means of recycling your gadgets but there are other ways you can safely and responsibly recycle too.
Use Recycle Now
This government-funded tool is staggeringly easy to use. You simply pick the item you’re recycling, your postcode and it will provide you with an easy map of places that can either collect or will accept your old gadgets.
Recycle it through your local council
Every council will let you recycle your old electrical items. Use this handy tool to find your local council and then click on their recycling and reuse section. You can then find your local recycling centre and how to dispose of your technology responsibly.
Electrical retailers will recycle or reuse your old tech
Did you know that Currys PC World actually collect, reuse and recycle up to 65,000 tonnes of electrical waste every single year?
If you’re buying a new TV or gadget through Currys PC World then they’ll offer free delivery and will then collect the old gadget you’re replacing. It will then be recycled.
Even if you’re not buying something from them you can still go to your local store and give them your old TVs, gadgets, appliances and batteries and they’ll collect them, recycle and if needs be dispose of these items for free.
Sell or trade-in your old tech
This is a no-brainer. You can sell your old gadgets, get money and in the process know that they’re not just going onto a rubbish heap.
3. Shop smarter
The UK charity The Waste and Resources Action Programme have come up with this really handy guide for shopping smarter on Black Friday:
Spend time researching and working out where to be (in store or online), and when, to get the deal you want. Consider also whether each product on your list is fit for purpose; is it compatible with your existing technology, is it going to fit where you want it to go? This should help your decision-making so you can buy, and use the product that is right for you.
Make a decision
before you go out to target a purchase, and try to think about the lifetime of your selected product and its true value for money. Some products are designed to reduce their overall environmental impact. These products are usually more than just energy efficient - they’re designed to last longer, or be cleaned, repaired, upgraded or recycled more easily. You can find out more in our Buying Better Products guide at www.recyclenow.com
(But calmly) Stick to your plan to get the bargains you want, rather than impulse buying something you haven’t researched (and probably don’t need). Make sure you don’t go in for a toaster and come out with a television. Also with some retailers extending their Black Friday sales this year, you may have more time than you think to make your final decision.
Register your appliance
when you get home as a safety precaution. In a small number of cases, manufacturers may identify problems with an appliance once the product has been in use for some time. Normally a quick in-home fix by a qualified technician will banish any risk, but it can be difficult to trace customers as they do not often provide contact details when they buy a product. Registering is made easy at www.registermyappliance.org.uk and registering with the manufacturer may also save you money by entitling you to an extended warranty or guarantee period.
Trade-in old products
that you’re replacing to save some extra money. Did you know that Argos offer a Gadget Trade-in scheme where you can trade-in second hand tablets and mobiles in return for credit off future purchases? Our research shows UK householders have around £1 billion worth of electrical and electronic equipment in their homes which they no longer use – items you could sell to high street shops, sell online, or donate to a charity shop.