While used PlayStation and Xbox consoles may not make up a significant portion of e-waste, that doesn’t mean they aren’t contributing to the problem.
This post first appeared on Kotaku Australia on January 15, 2022. It has been retimed as a weekend read.
If you’re upgrading to a newer model and have older gaming consoles, don’t trash them — you can likely re-sell them at any electronics store or, at the very least, recycle them.
Resell them online or at retailers
Before you get rid of your old Xbox or PlayStation console, first, you should research your options to resell it, assuming the console still functions. If it’s an especially valuable console, chances are you’ll make some money in the process.
Most major electronics stores such as JB Hi-Fi and EB Games also have trade-in programs, though you should expect to get a little less out of the deal.
Alternatively, you can list the console and sell it for yourself on eBay, Gumtree or even Facebook’s Marketplace. Of course, use good judgement; do some research on the right price and don’t immediately accept low-ball offers.
If you have several consoles and games to sell, you should list them individually as opposed to in a bundle, as it might earn you a little more cash.
And before you sell your console, don’t forget to wipe any personal information and back up any data. On a Reddit thread, blackboxinquiry recommends factory-resetting your console to erase any of your information and placing it in its original packaging, if possible. You should research how to properly wipe your console.
Donate them to local organizations
If a gaming console might not earn you all that much, try donating it to local organizations and charities instead.
Contact your local library or family shelters and see if they might put your old console to good use; they’ll likely accept any used video games, too.
Be sure to properly vet the organization before donating, though. Gaming consoles are valuable and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people might scam you out of one. (Look them up online and for reviews by other donors, if possible.)
Recycle using a local e-waste facility
If your used console is unsalvageable (RIP), your next course of action is to recycle it. Given the various parts of a console — from the plastic casing to the circuit board — it isn’t easy to disassemble and recycle each part.
Luckily, some retailers will accept your entire console for recycling. At Microsoft stores, you can trade in an Xbox for store credit if it still works; otherwise, the company will recycle it on your behalf.
Alternately, perform an online search to find e-waste recyclers. You’ll likely find a facility near you that will accept your console. Just be sure to contact them in advance.
And if you just can’t let go of your console just yet, that’s fine, too. Try repurposing it using our guide or save it for the long run. Who knows how much it might be worth a decade or two from now?
This article has been updated since its original publication.