When your gear's age or condition makes giving it away impossible, it's time to send it to the recycling bin. There's plenty of room for improvement, but recycling has become much easier than it used to be as companies recognize the problem of e-waste. In addition to your local recycling center, stores like Staples, Target, Best Buy, and others accept electronics and peripherals like printer ink cartridges even if you didn't buy them at the store (eligible items will vary by state, however).
Apple's recycling programs let you recycle Mac batteries and iPods in its Apple Stores (the latter for ten percent off a new model), or you can mail iPods and any mobile phone to Apple for recycling. You can also ship them your old iPhone, iPad or any model computer in exchange for an Apple Store gift card for the estimated value of your device.
Whatever you decide to do with your old hardware, don't put it off for long. The holidays can make it all too easy to forget your unused devices and let them languish in a drawer or closet where they won't do anyone any good. The sooner you put them to a new purpose or get them out of your house, the sooner they can be useful to someone else.
Adam Berenstain is a freelance writer in upstate New York and a frequent contributor to Macworld.