How To Recycle Old Tech And Devices

Did you receive any new tech over Christmas? Have you recently replaced an old laptop or monitor or upgraded your smartphone?


As we (and our children!) become increasingly tech-reliant, we're facing the problem of an ever-growing number of old devices piling up in our homes. Maybe you’ve noticed your drawer of defunct tech is getting a little difficult to shut! 


We're here to answer the question of how you get rid of the tech you no longer need. Or more specifically: how to recycle old tech and devices. 


Here are some options for your consideration. 


Donate Tech And Change Lives For The Better


Little Lives UK



Little Lives is a UK-based organisation focused on providing community, mental health, and technology support to disabled or disadvantaged children. This is a very worthy cause, and our top recommendation if you decide to donate a piece of tech. Without the usual need for repair or refurbishment, your donation can get to those in need far quicker.

With the increased reliance on technology brought about by the last few years, it’s more important than ever to ensure younger generations are tech savvy. Unfortunately, there are still thousands of children around the UK who don’t have access to the same technology as their peers.

Little Lives UK accepts donations of various electronics including games consoles, TVs, and laptops. If you’re based in the London area, simply fill out the form and Little Lives will collect your donation. Donations are collected and refurbished by a team of volunteers. They’re then redistributed to schools and children’s organisations in need.


Or if you're not in the capital, donating a smartphone or tablet simply requires you to reset the device to factory settings, attach the pre-paid shipping label, and send.




technician at work fixing a piece of tech


Mer-IT is another great organisation fighting against the e-waste crisis in the UK. Thanks to their team of experienced volunteers, even broken devices can get another lease of life. It’s definitely worth considering if you’ve received some new tech and want to donate an older model. Even if you have a phone or laptop that isn’t working, it might be fixable.

They consider a vocational approach to be the best way to tackle e-waste. If you can use two non-working devices to fix one, not only do you gain a newly repaired device but also a newly experienced repairer who can pass this knowledge on.

As well as running projects like work experience, traineeships, and hardware courses for children, Mer-IT makes it easy to donate tech. Their site features an easy guide to safely donate your electronics. You can send it or book a time slot to drop by their London location. Mer-IT relies on volunteers in order to function so there are times when they’ll be unable to accept donations.

The Restart Project


The Restart Project provides similar services to Mer-IT and are strong supporters of the Right to Repair movement. This is a campaign to have manufacturers make their electronics reasonably fixable. 

As well as accepting donations for laptops specifically, The Restart Project is helping to pave the way for the Right to Repair movement. This would make repairing our devices a far more achievable goal. One of the Restart Project’s programmes that will greatly benefit from Right to Repair are its Restart Parties.


A Circular Economy: The Gift That Just Keeps Giving

Moving towards a more circular economy means repairing, refurbishing, and redistributing our electronics so they stay in use far longer. Like Mer-IT’s vocational approach and The Restart Project’s ‘Restart Parties’, people are given a space to bring their old tech and get expert guidance. You can find community repair events across the UK and abroad where you can get help to fix your broken devices. 


Or if you're based in the Big Smoke, The Restart Project even has a directory of London repairers who can help you fix anything from lawnmowers to electric guitars. 


map of repairers from London Repairs


Sometimes the parts needed for repair aren’t available or a device is beyond fixing. In this case, the best you can do is usually recycling. The Restart Project will accept donations of broken devices so they can be used to fix others. However, like Mer-IT, they rely on volunteers to run their programmes so they can’t always accept donations like this.

Take-Back Scheme For Electricals

One of the easiest ways to donate your tech is by shopping at retailers who are running the Take-Back Scheme for electricals. Just enter your postcode and the type of electronics you want to recycle. You’ll see a list of recycling centres and stores with valid recycling capabilities within 5 miles of your address.


Whether you’re buying hair straighteners, a printer, or a footbath, just bring in the older model you’re replacing. They’ll accept it even if it doesn’t work and send it to be recycled.

Gotraka’s Hopes For A Greener Future 

Gotraka is committed to a greener future for the tech world. We know we haven’t arrived at the finish line yet - there’s so much more work to be done. But you can count on us to be putting in the hard graft now to create a circular system for disposing of old tech in an environmentally friendly way. Join us on our journey!