Unrepaired: what to do

Despite our best efforts, some devices remain ‘unrepaired’. If this happened to you, what should you do? To begin with, we often refer people to commercial repairers for help. This is the preferred option, as we need to stimulate the commercial repair economy.

If you’re unwilling to spend money or time, however, you should ask yourself:

Does this device need repair you can’t complete?

If repair is unrealistic, does it have valuable parts?

If yes to either, REUSE is the preferred option. It is worth trying to sell your device especially if it has valuable parts. If you sell it via Ebay for Spares or Repair, you can even decide to donate part or all of the proceeds to The Restart Project. (We do not take donations of broken stuff.)

There are numerous services you can post your old mobiles to, like Mazuma. Please check that the service you are sending to is reputable.

However, if your broken thing is cheap to buy new, or commonplace, it’s not worth trying to sell it. There are people who collect non-functioning devices, especially if you share info from your Restarter about what has failed. Try Freecycle, Freegle, or Streetbank.

If curious, you could also try your local hackspace, makerspace or community computer refurbisher to see if they are in need of your broken gadget for parts.

Before parting with a device containing personal data in this way, you must properly wipe data from it. Here is our advice for PCs and laptops. Seek help elsewhere for other devices.

Is the answer NO to the questions above?

So heartbroken and tired that you want to bin it?

Wait a minute!

It’s time to recycle. Why not take the kids so they can learn?

Remember – electronic waste is extremely toxic and should never go to landfill. Recycling recoups some of the raw materials in our electronics, but not all. For that reason, we always recommend reuse first.

In the UK, Recycle Now has an easy locator for e-waste collection points. Stores like Currys PC World recycle e-waste. And as of 2021, if you are buying something new, most retailers are obliged to take the new one.

recyclenow postcode locator