USB memory sticks are a wonderful way to back up and transport a range of digital information, from music to video to documents to pictures. The only question is, when you are ready to retire your memory stick, how do you dispose of it? Before you think about just throwing away your USB memory stick, consider the myriad ways you can recycle or reuse it.
Before you find an outlet for your old memory sticks, make sure all the information you wrote onto the stick has been properly and completely deleted. While deleting the files yourself at home may appear to remove the information from the stick, the data may still be accessible to skilled hackers and certain spy programs. The best practice is to take the drive to your local computer store or maintenance location and have them professionally delete the information.
A great way to dispose of your memory stick is to donate it. For example, some companies collect unwanted and old USB sticks and recycles them for students and professionals in developing countries who do not have access to such technology. Some education trusts also accepts donated USB memory sticks in support of schools in Africa. If you prefer your donation to stay more local, then some local libraries distribute audio books to the blind on donated memory sticks.
If you do not like the idea of donating your USB memory stick, it is also possible to recycle your memory stick at home by finding alternative uses for them. Unwanted USB sticks can be used as key chain charms or plant labels. The circuit boards and interior wiring can be reconfigured and redesigned to make unique jewelry pieces, and an arrangement of USB parts could contribute to an art project. Some people grind up their old USB sticks and lay it around flower beds as moisture insulation and weed protection. All you need to recycle your memory stick at home is a little imagination!
A final resort for the disposal of unwanted USB memory sticks is throwing them away but make sure to heed the warning about deleting all information properly before choosing this disposal option!
Everything considered, the best disposal method is reuse. One of the best aspects of a USB memory stick is it can be rewritten again and again and continue to hold and transport your data in a small and efficient manner and with sales of these units in the hundreds of millions they are likely to be here for quite some time yet.