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Ok, it’s truth time. How many of you still have an old phone, tablet or even laptop stashed away in the back of a drawer somewhere? Don’t worry, we’re just as guilty as you are! And with Christmas around the corner, we are very aware that the pile is about to get bigger. Every Christmas, millions of people buy (or are bought) new mobile phones, tablets, laptops and computers, leaving the old ones abandoned. But rather than leaving them in the back of the drawer you could recycle your old devices, helping save precious resources and be kinder to the environment. Today, we’re here to show you how to do that.


Let’s start with the easy one. Since 2014, Apple have been running a worldwide scheme called Renew and Recycle, with the aim of making it as easy as possible to recycle their products. This scheme allows you to take your old Apple devices into any Apple retail store for recycling. This includes batteries, laptops, iPods, iPhones, iPads, computers – basically any product Apple has ever made and sold. If your products qualify, you will receive a gift card for the Apple store, so you are rewarded for recycling. You can also apply for this scheme online, and simply fill in a form with your product details to be sent a pre-paid envelope. With this version, you do need to ensure you delete your data and wipe your own device. So in terms of recycling tech, Apple is ahead of the curve with this fantastic and simple scheme which is perfect for anyone who can’t be bothered with the hassle of selling equipment.

Wipe And Sell

A very popular option, particularly for things like phones, tablets and laptops is to sell them on. So not only do you get rid of your old devices, but you make some money back too. You can choose to sell your devices a number of ways – from privately to using platforms like eBay, Gumtree or other dedicated buying sites like Mazuma Mobile and so on. But before you do any of that, you need to make sure you have removed all of your personal data from the devices. For phones and tablets, this is a simple task – you just need to go into the settings of the device and perform a full factory reset, which will erase all data on the device. For laptops and computers, you will need to not only format the device, but if you want to be really safe you also want to remove the hard drive. If you aren’t sure how to do this, we have a handy guide here.

WEEE Schemes 

For old IT that doesn’t hold much value anymore, for example older TV’s and computers, or broken devices, there is always the WEEE scheme. WEEE stands for the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive. This is the EU directive that instructs people and business owners to recycle and reuse their old, waste IT through dedicated centres. Every local authority will have a WEEE centre or scheme in place, so it’s simply a case of finding your local centre and taking your equipment to them. There are also businesses like Veolia, who handle the process for you. You will want to ensure that you have wiped any data from your devices or remove your hard drives before you do. There is no reward for you in taking this route, but it is a way of removing that equipment form your home or business without risking your data.

At Greenaway, we specialise in helping business and individuals protect their data in the most permanent way possible. Our shredding services don’t just cover paper, they also handle computers, phones and hard drives. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, obtain a quotation, please just get in touch with us.