How to Dispose of Old Keyboards

Ditch your keyboard responsibly

Old keyboards, even if they're broken beyond repair, contain valuable and sometimes even heavy metals. It's important these kinds of devices are reused, or recycled responsibly. If you can't find any use for it, make sure you take it somewhere that will dispose of it responsibly, and won't simply ship it overseas.

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Can I Throw Away Old Keyboards?

You can, but it's far better to find a service which can safely and ethically recycle it. That way you can rest assured as much of the keyboard can be reused for other devices in the future, and any harmful metals, plastics, or chemicals have been removed so it doesn't pollute the environment in the future.

One option worth considering if you don't want to have to dispose of the keyboard yourself, is to contact the original manufacturer. Sometimes they will take old keyboards and dispose of them themselves, as they already have robust e-waste recycling programs in place for all of their parts and materials.

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Where Can I Get Rid of Old Keyboards?

If the keyboard works, maybe you have a friend or family member who could make use of it. Reusing is always better than recycling if you can.

Alternatively, if you don't know anyone who you'd like to give the keyboard to, you could try selling it. Ebay and Craigslist are great online marketplaces for older equipment that still have some use. Keyboards and other computer parts can command a great price if they're in good condition.

If you don't care to make money from your old keyboard, you could also donate it to a thrift store to help others in need.

If the keyboard doesn't work, however, then you'll need to consider your local services. Some local recycling services will take e-waste, but make sure the service recycles it responsibly and doesn't simply ship the e-waste to other countries where it may not be disposed of responsibly. Alternatively, some states and counties offer their own e-waste recycling services you can use. You may be able to contact your municipal solid waste agency to find out what they recycle and where.

If you have a big box store near you like a Best Buy or Staples, take advantage of their own e-waste recycling programs. Alternatively, some smaller computer store chains also have recycling available.

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Can You Put a Keyboard In the Garbage Can?

Some states may have laws against simply throwing e-waste, as there can be harmful metals and plastics in them which could do damage to the environment.

FAQ
  • Why should I recycle my old electronics?

    E-waste is a serious environmental issue because old electronics in landfills leak chemicals that end up in our soil and water. Unfortunately, only about 20% of e-waste is appropriately recycled.

  • How do I fix my broken keyboard?

    If your keyboard isn't working, check the batteries, check the physical connection, reset the Bluetooth connection, and clean the keys. If you have a mechanical keyboard, you can replace the keys. In the meantime, use the Accessibility Keyboard.

  • How do I recycle my old laptop?

    If you want to recycle a laptop, first check to see if you can donate or sell it, then look for an e-waste recycling facility. It's also important to properly dispose of your laptop battery.

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