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Tips on how to responsibly eliminate the stuff you’ve decluttered

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Now that Apple’s newest iPhones are using USB-C cables as a substitute of the standard Lightning cables, anybody who upgrades to a brand new iPhone may find themselves with a lot of excess cables. If you happen to’re a type of unfortunates, what do you propose to do with them?

Whereas we’re at all times being advised the way to simplify our crammed residing areas and eliminate all of the stuff we’re now not utilizing or carrying, it’s usually arduous to determine simply the way to do it responsibly with out including to the world’s extra trash.

As a result of simply dumping them isn’t an possibility. Reusing and recycling {old} and unneeded stuff has turn out to be an essential facet of the push to protect the world’s surroundings. Many states and concrete areas are mandating the recycling of tech, metals, paper items, or different substances, however even in the event you dwell in an space the place the legislation doesn’t require it, you most likely nonetheless need to do the proper factor.

The issue is discovering how and the place you may eliminate your stuff with the best benefit to you and the least quantity of harm to the surroundings. This will likely have been tougher than regular over the previous few years as a result of many assets for recycling had been suspended in the course of the pandemic, and a few had been gradual to return again — or by no means did. Nonetheless, there are nonetheless quite a lot of on-line providers that may assist you determine the way to responsibly eliminate issues — and presumably make some cash within the course of.

Listed below are some assets to take a look at, relying on what you need to get rid of and the way you need to do it.

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You could be questioning what you will get for that years-old iPhone.

Planning to purchase a brand new telephone or laptop computer? Earlier than you make the acquisition, try any producer trade-in offers which are obtainable on your Macs, Android phones, and different units.

If you happen to don’t just like the provide from the seller, you may sell your tech. There are on-line distributors that can take your used machine off your fingers and offer you one thing for it. Decluttr, for instance, gives you a tentative quote in your telephone or tech. (It additionally takes CDs, DVDs, video games, consoles, and books.) It’s also possible to promote via a service like Swappa, which fees the customer, not the vendor, a price. Best Buy additionally has a trade-in program, though fee will come within the type of a present card.

It’s also possible to give it to charity. There are a number of packages that give computer systems to folks or organizations that want them. For instance, Computers with Causes passes tech on to people who want them; World Computer Exchange sends refurbished desktop and laptop computer computer systems to varsities, libraries, neighborhood facilities, and universities in creating nations; Bridging Tech donates computer systems to housing-insecure youngsters, and Globetops permits you to select who will get your refurbished laptop computer utilizing on-line descriptions (or you may simply donate your tech and let Globetops resolve). As with every charitable establishment, it’s a good suggestion to examine them out earlier than giving. (There are a number of charity data websites on-line.)

And by the way in which, all these Lightning cables — and different cables you now not want? You could not need them, however there are lots of people on the market with older tech who can most likely use them. As suggested by BasicAppleGuy, you may donate them to an area shelter or ask in case your native public college or library can use a couple of.

If you happen to’ve obtained tech that’s so {old} that no one desires it (for instance, I truly got here throughout a couple of parallel cables the opposite day), then it’s time to get rid of it — in an environmentally acutely aware approach, after all. In truth, in the event you simply throw away your pc or TV set, you could be breaking the legislation, relying on the place you reside. Based on a 2018 article written for the National Conference of State Legislatures, “25 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws establishing a statewide digital waste, or e-waste, recycling program.”

If you happen to simply throw away your pc or TV set, you could be breaking the legislation

If you happen to dwell in an city space, likelihood is there’s some sort of recycling program that’s obtainable (and even obligatory). In lots of {cases}, shops that promote electronics can even provide recycling (often for a price); all you must do is convey your stuff to the shop. Best Buy, for instance, will recycle as much as three units per journey (with some restrictions and a price for some objects, corresponding to screens); it additionally has a mail-in service (once more, for a price). Staples has a recycling program for all kinds of tech units and also offers mail-in recycling “kits” for a price. It’s also possible to attempt Earth911 to search out the closest recycling heart. Nonetheless, at all times examine straight with the middle or retailer earlier than you go; hours and what they are going to deal with can change shortly.

Disposing of batteries safely generally is a ache. Call2Recycle appears to be the principle firm that recycles numerous kinds of batteries for shoppers. Its web site will help you discover out the place to drop off that bag of batteries you’ve been accumulating and likewise presents delivery providers. The group additionally accepts batteries by way of quite a lot of stores, corresponding to Walgreen and Dwelling Depot — discover out the place to go close to you by utilizing Call2Recycle’s online locator tool. Nonetheless, the kind of batteries every retailer accepts will fluctuate (for instance, many could not take single-use batteries, and a few additionally take cell telephones). So examine earlier than going.

Sadly, in the event you’re nonetheless holding on to your mother and father’ {old} BlackBerry PDA or Commodore 64 within the hopes which you can donate it to a museum, your likelihood is slim. A number of years in the past, there was an opportunity you may ship {old}, attention-grabbing units to one in all quite a lot of tech museums. However most appear to have disappeared, and any that will nonetheless be round aren’t accepting something however money contributions. The Laptop Museum of America remains to be taking “distinctive and uncommon artifacts,” so you may attempt filling out their donation form. The Computer History Museum web site says it’s implementing a brand new database, so you may examine again in some unspecified time in the future to see if it’s accepting donations once more.


You may donate gently used clothes to charitable organizations.

You may divide clothes websites into three classes: ones that deal with the newest fashionable and costly clothes and jewellery, ones that deal with main middle-level manufacturers, and sellers in conventional low cost leftovers.

On the excessive finish are consignment corporations that act as go-betweens for individuals who need to promote designer clothes, jewellery, and different beneficial objects and those that need to purchase them. Some, corresponding to The RealReal, say they authenticate all the merchandise which are bought via them by way of experience and “our proprietary algorithm” after you ship your clothes to the corporate. Others, corresponding to Rebag and Vestiaire Collective, assess the merchandise by way of photograph after which make you a proposal. Most solely take latest fashions, so they don’t seem to be the place you go to eliminate that jacket that’s been hanging in your closet for 10 years. Nonetheless, in the event you’re the sort of shopper who buys the newest kinds each season, these could also be the place you need to promote and purchase.

For much less upscale clothes, you may attempt websites like Thredup, which handles 1000’s of main manufacturers; you ship your gently used clothes on to the service, and if it accepts (and sells) your clothes, you may select from money or credit score from both Thredup or an related retailer.

Many charities that used to just accept worn or outmoded clothes have turn out to be pickier

If you wish to eliminate your older clothes, you could discover it a bit more durable than it was. Many charities that used to just accept worn or outmoded clothes have turn out to be pickier, partly as a result of the business of reselling old clothes overseas is waning. As well as, savvy shoppers have gotten cautious of the omnipresent drop-in clothes bins since many truly belong to for-profit corporations.

If you happen to can’t make it to your native Goodwill retailer, one place to attempt is Vietnam Veterans of America. Its web site will allow you to schedule a pickup (assuming it providers your space). GreenDrop has restricted places in numerous states the place you may drop off clothes and family items. Give Back Box encourages you to make use of the field your new garments had been shipped in to ship your {old} stuff to a charity of your alternative; the location gives a pay as you go delivery label for about $20, or you may drop your clothes off totally free at any Kohl’s.

There are a selection of regionally based mostly organizations as effectively. One of the simplest ways to search out a corporation in your space is to attempt charity guides corresponding to Charity Navigator or GuideStar.


How will you take care of your piles of books?
Photograph by Andrew Liptak / The Verge

Books manufactured from paper somewhat than pixels are nonetheless round, and if the piles are getting too excessive on your residence, then you definitely most likely need to eliminate no less than a few of them.

One answer is to promote your books via a website corresponding to Amazon, though that may get sophisticated. As a person (versus a enterprise), you must arrange a vendor’s account and pay Amazon 99 cents per e-book. And your possibilities of truly promoting could also be slim to none; there are a variety of skilled booksellers who use Amazon to eliminate further stock, so they are going to promote their books for 99 cents plus the delivery price, making it tough for people to compete.

Your possibilities of truly promoting your books by way of Amazon could also be slim to none

It’s also possible to attempt standard resellers corresponding to Powell’s. You give them the ISBN and the situation of the e-book(s), and so they gives you a quote. Then, you mail the books to them and reap your reward by way of PayPal. AbeBooks is a well-liked place to search for used books, however they deal primarily with skilled sellers; charges for promoting begin at $25 a month.

If you happen to’ve obtained textbooks you don’t want anymore — and everyone knows how costly these can get — you may attempt GoTextbooks. BookScouter will present you the costs supplied by quite a lot of booksellers, together with person rankings, and you’ll select which one to promote to.

It’s also possible to go native. Libraries and used bookstores have historically been good methods for folks to unload books they now not need. Many libraries nonetheless take books that they’ll add to their collections, promote, or give away. (Many stopped that observe in the course of the pandemic, so it’s a good suggestion to examine along with your library’s web site or name forward to ensure they settle for donations.) Used bookstores will often settle for books for both a small fee or for credit score towards e-book purchases. One of the simplest ways to search out out if there are any in your space is to go to Google Maps and seek for “used bookstores.”

Lastly, you may construct your personal library. The Little Free Library website gives all the data you must begin a book-distributing program proper outdoors your home. And if one in all your neighbors has already began one, perhaps you may donate to them!

The whole lot else

There may be a variety of stuff in your home that you could be now not want.
Photograph by James Bareham / The Verge

If you need to promote your stuff, one of many locations folks nonetheless consider is eBay. And rightfully so: that is the place a variety of patrons go once they’re searching for a deal. Individuals who promote on eBay vary from one-time-only people to skilled retailers. Right here’s the way it works:

  • You rise up to 250 free listings a month for many product varieties; after that, it’s 35 cents per itemizing.
  • As soon as your merchandise has been bought, eBay collects 13.25 % of the ultimate worth as much as $7,500 and a couple of.35 % on any worth over $7,500 for many objects. There may be additionally a 30 cents per order price.
  • There are a number of exceptions: 6.35 % for guitars and basses (with 2.35 % on any worth over $7,500), 3 % for heavy tools (with 0.5 % for values over $15,000), and 14.95 % for films and TV, aside from vinyl information (with 2.35 % on any worth over $7,500). There are different exceptions; yow will discover all of them here.

(Observe that eBay additionally has totally different charges for numerous ranges {of professional} sellers.)

Promoting on eBay takes time, effort, and endurance, however it could be price it. One of the simplest ways to begin is to do a fast search and see the vary of costs your object (or an identical object) is promoting for.

There are different locations the place you may promote your stuff. If you happen to’re on Fb, you may promote stuff utilizing its Marketplace. It’s best to promote regionally, the place you may meet the customer to do the alternate or organize for a drop-off. It’s also possible to organize to ship your merchandise; in that case, there are a number of rules to follow. Different websites that aid you promote or give away objects regionally embody Nextdoor and that {old} standby, Craigslist.

For giveaways solely, Freecycle is a service that introduces native individuals who have stuff to different native individuals who need that stuff. As soon as you discover your neighborhood Freecycle via the principle website, you’re instructed on the way to promote what you’re freely giving. (It’s also possible to promote for one thing you need.) Anybody who desires the item replies, and after that, it’s as much as you to contact the particular person and organize for the giveaway. BuyNothing works in a lot the identical approach, besides it operates primarily by way of a cell app: you discover your neighborhood, describe what you’re freely giving (along with a photograph), and make preparations for the handoff.

Both approach, you’ve made two folks completely happy — you and the fortunate recipient.

Replace December twenty eighth, 2023, 10:30AM ET: This text was initially revealed on January tenth, 2020, and has been up to date to account for adjustments in obtainable providers.

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