Recycling used electronics is great, but in some cases, there’s an even greener option out there — several charities accept used and even broken electronic equipment. These non-profits ensure that previously owned products get sent to the less fortunate or are properly recycled. Read on for a list of socially-conscious charities that will make sure your outdated technology goes to a good cause.
Close the Gap accepts used computers from developed countries, refurbishes the technology and donates them to developing nations. So far, the organization has provided useful technology to regions like southern Africa, the Philippines, Brazil and India, and is looking to expand. Most of the computers wind up in schools or other educational programs, so you can be sure they are being used for a noble cause. If Close the Gap can’t repair or use a piece of donated equipment, it recycles it.
The National Cristina Foundation accepts used computers, software, peripherals and other business technology. The non-profit works with various charities, schools and public agencies to place the products with at-risk students, economically disadvantaged people and the disabled. In most cases, the tech is used for education and job-training purposes. The National Cristina Foundation will even take in broken equipment and refurbish it, but only on a case-by-case basis.
Reconnect is a partnership between Dell and Goodwill. The organization takes in used computer equipment and sells or recycles it. All proceeds from the sale of parts or entire systems goes to Goodwill, which uses the money to support its various programs. Goodwill focuses on strengthening communities by providing job training, career placement services and other programs for the disabled, those who lack work experience, and people facing employment challenges. In 2008, the organization aided about 1.5 million people throughout the US and Canada.
Hope Phones accepts unwanted or broken cell phones and uses them to provide phones to medical workers in developing nations. US-based donors can download and print a free shipping label and send in deactivated cell phones to the organization. Hope Phones then works with The Wireless Source, which clears, refurbishes and sells the used phones or recycles them completely. For every phone turned in, Hope Phones receives a hardware credit to purchase phones that are appropriate for medical workers. Donating one used iPhone earns Hope Phones enough credits to purchase five-to-seven phones for healthcare workers in developing nations.
Call to Protect works similarly to Hope Phones, except the organization focuses on combating domestic violence. The organization takes in used or broken cell phones and sends them to ReCellular, which refurbishes and sells phones or recycles them if they can’t be repaired. 100 percent of the used phones proceeds go to various national organizations that work to end family violence. Call to Protect is overseen by The Wireless Foundation, an organization that manages philanthropies that use wireless techn0logy to help communities.
These are just a few of the many humanitarian-minded organizations that aim to provide low-cost or free electronics to those in need. So now that you know the deal, what will you do with your outdated technology?
This post is part of the Recycling Series, which is sponsored by Best Buy. No matter where you may have purchased your electronics, Best Buy makes it easy to recycle. For more information on their recycling program and to make your recycle pledge, please visit www.recycleiton.com.