*Last updated 06/17/2020
It’s no secret that the world has a big problem of creating too much waste. A large part of that waste is e-waste, or electronic machines and accessories that have reached the end of their useful life. The total value of e-waste in 2019 is estimated to be about $62.5 billion. That is a lot of value that organizations and people in need are losing out on.
If you’re local to Nebraska (the home of Friendly PC), you may know it’s not illegal to throw away electronics along with your normal waste. However, the Department of Environment and Energy (DEE) strongly encourages you to reuse, refurbish and/or recycle computers, cell phones, gaming devices and any other electronics that you don’t need. When you upgrade your devices you’re probably tossing out the old to make room for the new, but you don’t have to trash your tech.
You can donate your computers, cell phones and many other devices to those in need. We’ve compiled a list of ways to make good use of your old electronics and incredible local nonprofits that would love to put your electronics to good use!
What to Do With Old Electronics
Reduce, reuse, recycle! Electronic waste can be quite toxic. Not only do electronics make for particularly bad waste, they could contain precious and rare materials; materials that can be used to produce new devices. So before you toss your old gadgets into the trash, make sure you’ve checked to see if there is a more responsible and sensible way to dispose of your device.
Upcycling is the process by which you take a used item and turn it into something else. However, when it comes to technology, the need for change and the tech-minded to upgrade creates a cycle of consumption. There are actually plenty of things you can do with your old computer. Check out some of the most creative upcylces we’ve seen.
You’re probably used to donating clothing or food, but many places will actually accept your electronics, too. For instance, you can donate your old cell phone(s) to the Women’s Center for Advancement in Omaha to help women in need.
Usually, if your electronic device is in good condition or in working order, it will be easy to sell. You can sell your gadgets on sites like eBay or Amazon.
Generally, any electronic device can be recycled, upcycled, or sold. Whatever you decide to do with your old electronics, make sure you are disposing of them responsibly.
Where to Donate Old Electronics in Omaha, NE
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Habitat for Humanity ReStore sells new, used, and surplus merchandise at prices 50-70% less than their retail cost. And everyone is welcome to shop, donate, or volunteer at their locations! The ReStores are independently owned and operated by local HfH organizations. All proceeds are used to help build strength, stability, self-reliance, and shelter within the Omaha Metro! If you’re outside the metro area, you can search the national database for the nearest Habitat location.
Where to go:
Omaha South Habitat ReStore: 1003 S. 24th St., Omaha, NE 68108
Omaha West Maple Habitat ReStore: 10910 Emmet St., Omaha, NE 68164
Motherboard is a social enterprise providing corporate data security and e-waste recycling. They employ adults on the autism spectrum, paying them full wages. Motherboard is a Microsoft registered refurbisher and sells refurbished computers at a low cost. Recycling is free for computers, cell phones, batteries, and working monitors.
To schedule a recycling pick up, call 402.763.8767 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
World Computer Exchange
The mission of World Computer Exchange is to reduce the digital divide for youth in developing countries, to use their global network of partnerships to enhance communities in these countries and to promote the reuse of electronic equipment and its ultimate disposal in an environmentally responsible manner.
Since 2000, they have helped nearly 5 million young people in 3,300 schools, youth centers, libraries, and universities in 47 countries connect with the opportunities, skills, and understanding of the internet.
While there isn’t a chapter in Omaha, you can mail your computer and they will provide you with tax receipts.
Vietnam Veterans of America
The VVA is a critical support service for our returning veterans. VVA became a membership organization in 1979. They are committed to:
- Improving the general welfare and hospital care of all veterans, especially homeless and disabled veterans.
- Assisting veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other disabilities.
- Working closely with veterans of other conflicts.
- Taking the lead on women and minority veterans’ issues.
The VVA accepts household items of all sizes including electronics.
eBay for Charity
Want to donate to your favorite nonprofit that doesn’t have a consumer electronics program? Sell it on eBay for charity! Just auction your used goods and eBay will donate 10-100% of the final sale price to the organization of your choice.
Find a local Omaha charity and start auctioning.
Cell Phones For Soldiers
Cell Phones For Soldiers began in 2004 as the idea of two patriotic kids who wanted to give back to the men and women who dedicate their lives to protecting us every day. To date, the charity has provided more than 300 million Minutes That Matter to our troops serving around the world! And it also continues Helping Heroes Home via emergency funds that have assisted more than 3,100 veterans and their families.
Cell Phones For Soldiers accepts ALL makes, models, and conditions of cell phones.