If you don't have a drawer full of old phone chargers and antiquated tech, then you must not be living in the 21st century. With the short life cycle of most tech, it's almost impossible to not end up with 10 chargers and cords for devices you no longer use. Good news: they can be reused or recycled.Whatever you do, don't just throw this stuff away. Cords and cables can be just as hazardous as other ewaste if not handled properly. Here are three things you can do:
1. Find a recycling center.
The EPA allows you to search for stores in your area that take a variety of tech items. Their site is especially handy because you can also search by tech type, so if you have an old appliance you'd also like to get rid of, you can find a place to recycle them both. Best Buy stores across the US also offer ewaste recycling.
2. Donate to your local school or non-profit.
With so many kids using computers every day, cords get lost, misplaced or destroyed frequently. My mom is a teacher and says powerstrips, keyboards, printer cables, camera cables and flash drives are especially appreciated. One caveat: don't just drop off your pile of stuff. Be sure the things you give them still work. Call ahead and find out what the school can actually use — then pick through your stuff.
3. Swap via social media.
You may not be using your Casio camera anymore, but a friend might be. A simple note on Facebook or Twitter announcing that you've got some cords that other people might be able to use may yield more responses than you think.
(Photo Credits: Flickr users Nick McPhee and MightyOhm, licensed under Creative Commons)