With most people staying at home during the current lockdown, many have used the opportunity to clean up their house or apartment.
This means many will likely have realised just how many old electronic devices and cables they have lying around, from old phones to duplicate chargers.
There are plenty of things you can do with those devices, including passing them on to someone who might use them.
Our technology correspondent Jess Kelly explained the options on today’s Newstalk Breakfast.
In terms of phones, she explained: “Very often, those of us who are on bill pay plans will get a phone upgraded before the old phone is on its last legs – meaning we have functional devices, sitting in drawers do nothing.
“The good thing is there are places that you can either donate it, sell it or pass it on to someone else who might need it more.
“There are certain charities that normally accept devices. At the moment, because of COVID, certain policies have changed… so you might want to call ahead to the charity to make sure they’re accepting.”
However, she said it’s vital that any such phones are wiped completely of your data before they’re passed on .
She explained: “The first thing you do when you find any of these devices is turn them on, check that they’re working, then go into the settings and wipe everything.
“There’s an option just to clear settings and preferences… but you want to erase everything and put it back to factory settings.”
She pointed to the Rehab Recyle group – which has operations in Dublin and Cork – as one recycling organisation that will take devices and break them down in an environmentally-friendly way.
Computers and cables
For computers, Jess said the charity Camara Education accepts the likes of computers, monitors, mice and other computer accessories.
She said: “They refurbish everything to the highest standard, to make sure it is still functioning and isn’t just going to sit in a drawer or press somewhere.”
For those who’ve found themselves with a ‘ridiculous’ number of cables, meanwhile, Jess had some advice.
She said: “Somewhere like the Recycle IT website… they can accept those old cables and repurpose them.
“What I do… is break up all the cables into different groups – micro-USB, USB-C, iPhone cable – and check how many actually still work. You’d be amazed how many we’re clinging on to and don’t actually work.
“Once you have them grouped, maybe keep two of each type of one and pass the others on.”
For electronic devices in general, Free Trade Ireland is a site where people can pass on their old tech for free to someone who might need it.
The likes of local residents’ Facebook groups are also often a way to pass on old cables or devices to people in the community who need some extra technology for the likes of homeschooling.