May 15th, 2012
Three for Tuesday - a 3-part tip on letting go of your old tech gear at last!
What to with all your old technology...? I find most people are reluctant to donate or discard computers, cell phones, hard drives and other data devices for fear that someone will get access to your confidential information. That is a valid fear. Data theft is actually pretty easy for a reasonably savvy scoundrel. Yet, once it's clean, it's pretty easy to eliminate this gear responsibly, thoughtfully or even profitably!
Part 1: Erasing the confidential data
Here’s a great video from PC World that guides you through several options to completely erase your hard drive, including the sledgehammer approach!
For mobile phone data, there are companies who would like to recycle, reconstruct and resell your old cell phone. As a service, they provide details on how to clear it for just about any mobile phone.
Pace Butler’s Data Erase Page
Secure Trade-in's Data Erase Page
Part 2: How to eliminate Tech Gear, the charity route…
There are likely several options for eliminating your tech gear right around the corner from your home. Most are run by non-profit organizations looking to fund raise. Making a quick phone call to your neighborhood school or community organization may be all you need to do to find out when the next technology drop-off day will be right in your hood!
Here are a few resources for you as well:
- The Consumer Electronics Association sponsors a Recycle Electronics locator service. (While visiting there, you might also find the Energy Calculator interesting, to find out how much in energy dollars your electronics are costing you monthly and annually.)
- If you have working products to donate and want to be sure they go to a non-profit who can use them, Christina.org will take care of you. Just let them know what you have and where you are and they'll hook you up!
- Find a location here to take your Sony electronic products
- Check out your nearby Office Depot Store, Staples or Electronics Store as most of them have a recycle program to offer.
Part 3: How to eliminate Tech Gear, the money route…
If you're short on funds and would like some money for your tech gear, you can always try to sell it on ebay.com or craigslist, but for the fastest route, I <3 Gazelle.com, who will give you a quote for your working tech gear. Check out my previous blog post for more Gazelle.com details.
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“I avoid grandiose plans. I start with a small piece that I can do. I go to the root of the problem and then work around it. It's building brick by brick.” Muhammad Yunus