How to recycle cables: 8 steps (with pictures)

How to recycle cables: 8 steps (with pictures)
How to recycle cables: 8 steps (with pictures)

The rapid development of technology makes everyday life easier. Unfortunately, that also means that accessories on obsolete devices add up quickly. Companies like Apple will generally be happy to collect unused cables and ensure that they are properly recycled. If you prefer to donate them to organizations near you, you can also try to donate them to organizations like Emmaüs, let your friends or family collect them or collect the components yourself and sell them for you. little bit of money.


Method 1 of 2: Get rid of old cables

Recycle Cables Step 1

Step 1. Take them to a collection center

Collection centers often have recovery containers where you can drop off your old electronic components. Your waste will be treated on site and you can rest assured, because you will have made a gesture to clean the planet.

  • To find the collection centers in your area, do a search for "electronic equipment recycling" and the name of your city.
  • If you live in France, you can also go to the website to find the nearest collection point to you.
Recycle Cables Step 2

Step 2. Take your devices to an electronics store

Some large retail chains offer free recycling solutions for customers who want to get rid of their obsolete devices. Look for the terminals or collection points marked "recycling" at the entrance to the stores and drop off your devices there. They will take care of recycling cables, electrical wires and even rechargeable batteries.

Not all stores offer recycling solutions. You will likely need to contact several before you find one that accepts your devices

Recycle Cables Step 3

Step 3. Take advantage of the Apple program

Bring Apple devices like iPhones and MacBooks to your Apple Store and let them take care of the rest. For each device brought back, you will receive credit towards your next purchase in their store.

  • Apple Trade In works with a wide range of devices of all generations, including iPhones, iPads, iPods, Apple Watches, Apple TVs, towers and laptops, and all cables that come with them.
  • Any device that is not refurbished will be recycled and used to make new products.
Recycle Cables Step 4

Step 4. Take part in an e-waste collection

In many places and particularly in large cities, citizen collection days are organized with the aim of reducing electronic waste. All you have to do is wrap up all the cables and wires that you no longer use. Organizations like Emmaüs and Envie will sort them and prepare them for treatment.

  • Check the regional events section of your local newspaper to find out where the next drive will be held near you.
  • Generally, all devices and accessories that contain materials such as lead, cadmium, beryllium or halogenated flame retardants which can be dangerous for the environment, are e-waste.

Method 2 of 2: Use old cables differently

Recycle Cables Step 5

Step 1. Donate your devices to loved ones

Give the devices you no longer use to a friend or family member. Before looking for a place to stack old accessories again, find out if someone around you might be of use. You could save them the hassle and expense of a new purchase. This will give them the parts they need and you won't have to worry about them piling up on your nightstand.

  • Components such as adapter cords and cables tend to be the same over generations, which means they will likely be compatible with your newer devices.
  • Post on social networks the devices you get rid of to reach as many people as possible. Make sure to include a few photos, so your acquaintances will know that you will give them the accessory they need.
Recycle Cables Step 6

Step 2. Reuse the cables

Some accessories are more versatile than others. A USB cord is a USB cord and can be used with any accessory that has a USB port. Familiarize yourself with the connectors of your various accessories so that you can reuse a cable if one of your accessories runs out.

  • HDMI, auxiliary and coaxial cables are made so that they are interchangeable between different electronic devices, from computers to video recording devices.
  • Even a specially designed component like Apple's Lightning Charger Cord can plug into any iPhone, iPad, or iPod made after 2012.
Recycle Cables Step 7

Step 3. Donate your cables

Donate your cords and cables to programs such as Emmaus or Envie. Schools or vocational rehabilitation centers sometimes use accessories such as power cables as part of their programs. Search the local branches in your area, they'll be happy to pick up anything you want to get rid of.

Since reintegration programs train repairers, they will accept any accessories that are obsolete or no longer work

Recycle Cables Step 8

Step 4. Sell the raw materials

If you're looking for a way to make some cash out of your old cables, consider extracting the different materials from them. Conductive metals, such as pure copper and nickel, are highly sought after by scrap metal dealers. The latter will melt them down and sell them to their buyers. Copper is particularly profitable in many markets, its price is around 6 euros per kilo.

  • Contact your recycling center. Call your local recycling center or metal recycling center in your area and find out their criteria for collecting waste. Some will take care of the extraction of the raw materials without problems, others will ask you to do it yourself before bringing them.
  • Keep in mind that copper theft is a crime. The only time you should attempt to salvage copper on your own for resale is when that copper comes from an electronic device that you bought legally.


  • The recycling of cables, cords and electrical wires can be a source of raw materials for new products. By doing this, you reduce the amount of waste that could end up in nature.
  • Rummage through your old video game devices, speakers, food processors and other electronic devices that you have in stock to collect donation material.


  • Never throw your electronic devices in the trash. When not properly sorted, they can release substances that are harmful to the environment.
  • Do not attempt to reuse cables that show signs of wear, are cracked or excessively damaged. This can create a risk of electric shock.

Popular by topic