How To Recycle Old Tablets [4 Best Options To Consider]

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In our fast-paced technological age, the lifespan of electronic devices is becoming increasingly shorter. 

With the rapid evolution of tablets and smartphones, it’s common for users to upgrade their devices frequently, leaving them with a dilemma: what to do with the old tablets that are no longer in use

Fortunately, responsible disposal methods exist to ensure these gadgets don’t end up contributing to electronic hazardous waste. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the environmental impact of electronic waste, how to recycle old phones and tablets, and where to recycle old tablets and smartphones.

We will also discuss the steps to take before parting ways with your device and tips for cleaning tablets to extend their lifespan.

How Does Electronic Hazardous Waste Harm The Environment?

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1. Toxic Components

The tablets and smartphones we use every day come with rechargeable batteries that contain not-so-nice things like cadmium, lead, and mercury. 

When we throw these devices away, these bad metals can get into the soil and water, causing pollution and putting water creatures at risk. 

Also, the circuit boards in these gadgets have heavy metals like lead, which can be harmful if not thrown away the right way. 

If we don’t handle them properly, these heavy metals might stick around in the soil, affecting plants and maybe even getting into the food we eat.

2. Contaminating Our Earth

When we toss electronic devices into landfills, the harmful stuff inside them can gradually seep into the soil. 

This contamination wreaks havoc on the quality of the soil, making it unfit for agriculture and other purposes. 

What’s worse, plants that take in these toxins can become risky if eaten by animals or humans, creating a chain reaction of potential hazards in our environment.

3. Polluting Our Waterways

Tossing electronic waste like old devices into the regular trash or landfills can release harmful chemicals into nearby water. 

This polluted water is bad news for underwater life, messing up the well-being of aquatic creatures and upsetting the balance of our ecosystems.

4. Air Pollution 

In certain places, it’s common to burn electronic waste, and this releases harmful chemicals into the air. 

This practice leads to air pollution, messing with the respiratory health of communities nearby and adding to the overall decline in air quality.

5. Health Dangers

Being around electronic waste sites or working in the recycling industry exposes people to harmful materials, putting their health at serious risk. 

Breathing in or swallowing these toxins can lead to various health problems, such as issues with the nervous system, developmental disorders, and even different types of cancers.

6. Draining Our Resources

When we don’t dispose of electronic devices properly, we’re missing out on a chance to recover valuable resources like metals and rare earth elements through recycling. 

This not only depletes our natural resources but also drives up the need for fresh raw materials, keeping a cycle of environmental damage going.

Now that we’ve explored the environmental dangers of electronic waste, let’s delve into the practical steps of recycling old tablets and smartphones. 

Where and How to Recycle Old Tablets & Smartphones

1. Recycle Locally

It’s a breeze to responsibly dispose of your old tablets and smartphones in your community.

Just find the nearby spots for electronic recycling or drop-off points. 

Many places have specific centers just for dealing with electronic waste, making sure your gadgets are safely and responsibly handled. 

When you drop off your old devices at these special e-waste recycling centers, you’re not only reducing the environmental impact but also supporting sustainable waste management practices right in your local area.

2. Online Recycling Platforms 

Choosing online recycling platforms offers a hassle-free and environmentally friendly way to recycle your old tablets and smartphones. 

These websites are made just for recycling electronics and often let you mail in your old devices. 

For instance, Gazelle is a simple and cash-friendly site where you trade your used gadgets.

There’s also Decluttr, a place where you can sell various tech gadgets, including tablets and smartphones. 

Even ecoATM, which usually has kiosks, gives you an online tool to estimate your device’s value. 

Using these online services means your old devices will be handled responsibly, meeting recycling standards and making a positive impact on managing electronic waste sustainably.

3. Retailer Take-Back Programs 

Returning your old gadgets to the store where you bought them? It’s a thing! Some stores have Take-Back Programs, so you can hand in your outdated electronics for proper recycling. 

Just check with your local electronics or tech store to see if they do it.

It’s an easy way to make sure your old devices get recycled the right way and supports a greener way of doing things.

4. Participating in Community 

Joining Community E-Waste Events offers a fantastic opportunity to recycle your old tablets and smartphones in an eco-friendly manner. 

These events occur regularly in different areas, providing a convenient avenue for you to safely drop off your outdated devices for proper recycling. 

Stay in the loop by checking local announcements or community calendars to know when these events are happening. 

It’s an easy and community-focused way to make sure your old gadgets are recycled with care for the environment.

Having understood the importance of proper recycling and explored the various options available, let’s talk about what you should do before parting ways with your old tablets or smartphones.

Steps to Take Before Getting Rid of Old Tablets or Smartphones

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1. Back-Up Your Data

Before parting with your trusty tablet, safeguard your memories and important files by transferring them to a new device or storing them in the cloud. 

This ensures you won’t lose anything valuable when making the switch to a new gadget.

2. Factory Reset

Give your tablet or smartphone a fresh start by performing a factory reset.

This action wipes away all your data, returning the device to its original settings. 

It’s like erasing your digital footprint and protecting your privacy by removing accounts, apps, and personal information.

3. Remove Accessories

Take off any extras like cases, screen protectors, or SIM cards. These accessories can find new life through reuse or repurposing. 

Removing them ensures your device is ready for recycling without any unnecessary attachments.

By following these straightforward steps, not only do you keep your personal information safe, but you also contribute to a seamless recycling process for your old tablet or smartphone.

Tips for Cleaning Tablets to Extend Their Lifespan

1. Cleaning the Screen

Maintain the sleek look and performance of your tablet by using a microfiber cloth and a cleaner designed for screens. 

This not only improves how your device looks but also guarantees a clear and responsive touchscreen. It’s a simple way to keep your tablet in top-notch condition.

2. Caring for the Exterior

Boost the lifespan of your tablet by focusing on its outside. Employ a gentle brush or compressed air to tidy up the tablet case and ports. 

Clearing away dust and debris not only keeps the device looking clean but also prevents possible problems with connections and overall functionality.

It’s a simple way to ensure your tablet stays in good shape.

3. Keeping Software Up-to-Date

Ensure your tablet stays at its best by consistently updating its operating system and apps.

These updates frequently bring enhancements in performance, security, and compatibility.

By making sure your tablet’s software is current, you boost its overall efficiency and capabilities, making it run smoother and more securely.


In summary, recycling your old tablets responsibly is not just a green choice but a vital measure in lessening the environmental impact of electronic waste. 

By following the suggested steps and exploring recycling options, users play a role in shaping a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.


What can I do with old tablets that don’t work?

If your old tablets are not working anymore, you have a few options.
You could explore recycling programs or electronic waste disposal services in your area.
Many places have facilities that can properly handle and dispose of non-functional tablets in an environmentally friendly way.

Does Samsung take old tablets?

Yes, Samsung often has programs for taking back old tablets.
They may offer recycling services or trade-in options, allowing you to responsibly dispose of your old tablets.
It’s a good idea to check with Samsung directly or visit their website to find out the specific details of their tablet recycling programs.

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