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How to recycle your old laptop

It seems as though new technology is exploding onto the market with astonishing regularity at the moment. No sooner have you bought the latest piece of wireless gadgetry than a new model is brought out, making your recent purchase look distinctly old hat!

Laptops have been overtaken by notebooks, ultrabooks, tablets and smartphones and also by newer, faster and cooler laptops. As our dependency on electronic equipment grows, the technology improves, leaving us forever playing catch up. This leads on to the big question: what do you do with your old laptop when you’ve decided to upgrade?

Sell it

The internet is a wonderful tool for linking buyers and sellers together and a quick online search soon reveals plenty of websites and companies ready and waiting to help you to make cash from your unwanted items. Whether you want to sell your Apple MacBook online or get the best price for an ageing laptop, it is relatively easy to track down useful sites that will simplify the process for you.

Many people sell their own unwanted goods on popular auction sites, but this requires a degree of discipline and technical know-how to upload your listing. Good auction sites will have their own dispute resolution service in case your buyer claims that you never sent your old laptop or that it was not as described. You could save yourself the hassle and find a site that will do all the hard work for you, offering you a fair price for your unwanted equipment.

Never be tempted to go with the very first offer you come across. With a little digging, you may uncover helpful features such as free postage or courier collection of your old laptop, which could potentially save you pounds. Check out customer reviews too, to make sure that you are not sending off your laptop to a fly-by-night operation that will sell your equipment and keep the cash. Look for well-known companies with a checkable history to ensure the best returns.

Donate it

Primary schools and even some secondary schools are always grateful for any offers of donated technology, whether to sell at an organised event or for students to use as part of their equipment.

Try asking staff in local charity shops whether they have any use for unwanted laptops, as these are items that could be refurbished and resold or even taken to third world countries to help to transform the prospects of their students.

Make it

An increasingly popular use for old laptops is to make them into picture frames. Hugely popular in recent years, commercially produced digital photo frames tend to be quite small, cheaply made and generally have a low picture quality.

The average laptop screen offers far superior graphics and is in a larger format, making far more of a visual statement and displaying treasured photographs to an extremely high standard. Detailed instructions are available online, together with instructional video clips to enable even the non-technically minded to create a fantastic visual display.