Electronic Recycling

Everyone who travels has experimented with different devices and gadgets in order to pack as light as possible.  What do you do with your old items that friends and family can’t put to use? For some people, the next step is selling them to a service like Gazelle.  But before throwing them out – would you please check if they can be re-purposed for a charity?

Old computers - two

Oops!  My friend waited too long to donate these lovelies; they are 12 years old.

If you don’t have a local service, I’ve volunteered in the past at Interconnection in Seattle for several months and found them to be a reputable and responsible organization.

For those who can drop off items in Seattle, here’s a list of what they accept.

Don’t live in Seattle?

If you don’t live in the area, you can download a mailing label from their site to ship limited items — currently laptops (that can boot up) and smartphones (without broken screens) that are less than 7 years old.

How do you find out the age of a laptop?

For laptops and tablets, Mercer University can help determine the age of Dell, Apple and MS Surface products.  Enter either the Service Tag number or the Express Service Code.

What does Interconnection do with the devices?

The data is wiped, hardware is tested, software is loaded … and the devices are shipped to eligible non-profits and charities.  They also have a small local store to support technology access for low-income families.

Is data safe on recycled computers?

To be responsible with personal data, Interconnection will completely wipe/erase the data off the hard drives before re-installing software for the charity.  For those who prefer to wipe the drives themselves before transferring the computer, interconnection will send a CD if you don’t already own the software to do so.

Are donations tax deductible?

Yes indeed.  Interconnection is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; just follow this link to request an electronic donation receipt.

Do you have any other ideas or sources for old electronics?

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