As technology evolves, so too does our hoard of old and obsolete gadgets.
Many of us have accumulated electronic gadgets or even appliances over the course of time usually kept in a bottom drawer or in the garage.
But if you have no more use for these gadgets or appliances, what do you do with them?
If they are still in good working order then consider giving them another lease of life.
Consider passing them onto someone who could use your old gadgets and appliances.
Just because they may not be suitable for your own use, that does not mean another person could not benefit.
For example pre 1990 VCR machines can be used to strip macro encryption on Foxtel decoded shows so that your DVD burner will copy them.
As with most DVD burners macro encryption tell the burners that they aren't allowed to copy that movie.
Either hand them down, donate or list on the many online platforms eBay, Gumtree, Facebook Market Place and others.
You'd be amazed at how much extra pocket money you can generate just by offering older electronic gadgets and appliances for sale.
While the iPhone X may currently be the 'must' item to own, there are many others out there who would be just as happy with older versions of iPhones eBay regularly lists older models with sale prices up to $100 not bad money for a Friday night out!!
However, some electronics and appliances just get a little too beat-up over the years and some may just be too outdated to attract any interest at all.
In those cases, it's time for a trip to the recycling centre.
Like old newspapers and aluminum cans, electronic devices and appliances can be broken down and recycled to provide raw materials for all sorts of things.
But unlike rubbish that ends up in our wheelie bins, electronic and electrical items must be recycled with care.
There are a couple reasons for this.
One is that many electronics contain hazardous materials, for example, older TVs and monitors contain cathode ray tubes that may produce radiation and toxic gases and these must be carefully disposed of in accordance with the law.
Another reason is that recycling centre's will often break down electronic & electrical items into their component parts, which are then separated by hand for recycling.
Not all recycling centers do it this way, some may completely smash electronic devices.
Because of these special considerations, electronics must usually be dropped off at special recycling locations.
Find out more about how you can safely dispose of your electronic and electrical items here.
Remember to protect personal and confidential data
Recycling centres will typically take your devices as is.
However, when it comes to computers, there's an important step you need to take first: destroy the hard drive.
There are free online programs you can use to wipe an old computer's hard drive completely clean, but even those won't hide all of your data from a capable and determined computer whiz.
If you want to be sure the data on an old hard drive is unrecoverable, you must physically destroy it.
This means opening the computer, removing the hard drive and damaging it to the point where it will never work again.
You can do this using a hammer, driving nails through it or even cutting it in half.
However, be sure to exercise extreme caution when doing this.
Simon Caddy Electrical is a licensed electrician and member of the Master Electricians.
We are an electrical business specialising in general electrical, data, communications TV antennas and much more - we service the Upper North Shore area including Berowra, Hornsby, Wahroonga, Pymble, Turramurra, Killara, Lindfield, Roseville, Chatswood, Gordon and down to North Sydney.
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