So, you’ve made the decision to upgrade some of your company’s technology. Maybe you’re buying a new computer, or a set of tablets for your team. You’re probably excited about all the opportunities to do things faster and more efficiently when the new equipment arrives.

You might also have a minor issue to deal with, though. What happens to your old computer or device?

A lot of business owners don’t know what to do with outdated or unnecessary pieces of tech. If you fall into that category, this article should help. Before we get into what you should do with your tech, though, we have to point out that you definitely shouldn’t throw most pieces of tech in the garbage. Not only can they have value, but lots of microchips, LCD screens, and other pieces of tech are made with materials that can be harmful to the environment. So please, skip the trip to the dumpster.

With that warning out of the way, let’s look at four things you can do with an old computer or device…

#1 Sell the Device to Someone Else
Just because the device is no longer useful to you doesn’t mean it won’t have value to someone else. Even computers and tablets that are several years old can be put to work in the right environment. You can list your equipment for sale online or deal with a commercial broker who can help you get value for the equipment. Just be sure any sensitive data is removed before you hand the devices over.

#2 Donate the Technology
Schools, hospitals, and nonprofits are always struggling to get the computers and equipment they need. In many cases, they don’t have to have the latest and greatest tech – they can make do with pieces that have been gently used. If nothing else, it’s worth making a few calls to see whether a group or individual in need might be able to put your old hardware to use.

#3 Look for Trade-In Opportunities
Certain technology manufacturers and dealers will offer trade-in specials on old pieces of tech. From their perspective, this is a good way to encourage spending on newer items and keep buyers loyal. Even if you don’t see any deals advertised, you could talk to a store or sales rep in your area about a discount or buyback. You may be surprised at what they will offer you to hold on to your business.

#4 Find a New Use for the Piece
Many pieces of technology have usefulness that extend beyond their original purpose or mission. As an example, old PCs are often used for home alarm systems, as email servers, or even to run software that searches for extraterrestrial life! With the help of your outsourced IT team, you might be able to find ways to repurpose old equipment, strengthening your company and cutting costs at the same time.

#5 Recycle the Equipment
Even in situations where the technology might not have much value to another person or business directly, the components may be valuable for recycling purposes. At the very least, by recycling old technology, you’ll know that you’ve done your part to help the environment. And, some manufacturers and retailers will even give you credit for bringing in old technology.

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