Tablets, phones, and various other gizmos were popular items on everyone's lists this year. So, now it's out with the old in with the new, right? Maybe not. Alex Fitzpatrick from Time writes that before you trash your older-model devices, you should consider a few other options.

Electronics have some pricey as well as toxic materials in them that would be better suited going into recycling than a trash bin. Various tech companies and retailers will take back old models (you may even get a gift card for your consideration to the environment). Fitzpatrick advises you check out the EPA's website for information on where you can go locally. But before you do anything with it, make sure your data has been wiped clean from the device in question. 

If you want a monetary incentive, then sell your old device on the internet. Even old computers can fetch a few dollars, as DIY enthusiasts are always looking for cheap spare parts to build their next creation. You may not make back anything close to what you paid for it, but you may get enough from you sale to purchase a new accessory for your new device.

If you don't want to part with your device quite yet, instead of hoarding it away in the basement, repurpose it. Just because your computer or smartphone is old doesn't mean it can't be put to good use with a few tweaks. You'd be surprised at just what a quick hard dive wipe can do for that old laptop or desktop, as well as a clean install of a less-taxing, free OS, like Chromium or Linux Ubuntu. You can then transform it into a dedicated media machine for your TV room, local share drive, or a digital music machine for your stereo.

Smartphones can even be repurposed as a hand-me-down for younger kids. Just make sure to lock it up, so they don't rack up an insane bill from in-game purchases.

Lastly, Fitzpatrick advises donation. If you're not going to repurpose it, then bring some good cheer to those less fortunate. Even older laptops can help out those who can't afford one.

Read more at Time

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