Unwanted: what to do

We do not accept in-kind donations. For broken electronics we have a different page.

Our mission is to encourage people to buy for longevity and use the things they have for longer. But we know that, every so often, people will want to part ways with a working device. This advice is UK-specific but the logic applies elsewhere.

To donate a computer or laptop locally, so that it ends up in the hands of people in need in your own community, we list reuse projects across the UK here.

Does it have (resale) value?

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

Selling your device

Get informed about the value of your device. If you can sell it via Ebay you can choose The Restart Project as the recipient of up to 100% of the proceeds.

In the UK, higher-value electronics can be sold to shops like Computer Exchange, on your local high street. There are numerous services you can post your old mobiles to, like Mazuma. Please check that the service you are sending to is reputable.

Donating your device

Charities are also an option in some cases. Anything with a plug can be donated to the British Heart Foundation, which accepts functioning electricals. So do some Emmaus branches, and some of these accept cables and leads. In London, most electricals can be donated to FARA charity shops. Get Well Gamers accepts video games and game consoles which go to UK hospitals.

To donate a computer or laptop locally, so that it ends up in the hands of people in need in your own community, we list reuse projects across the UK here.

Giving away your device

You can always give away stuff on your local reuse network like Freecycle, or in the UK Freegle, Streetbank. Sometimes local Facebook groups can serve this purpose.

If curious, you might also try your local hackspace, makerspace or community computer refurbisher to see if they could use your device.

If you cannot sell it, donate it, or give it away…

It’s time to recycle. 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 and stores like PC World recycle e-waste. Why not take the kids to learn?

recyclenow postcode locator