Where Can I Donate a Non-Functional Digital Camera?

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Updated July 27, 2022

It’s true. Even the best digital cameras fail eventually. If you have a digicam that has stopped working, you may wonder where can I donate a non-functional digital camera? Keep reading to find out.


  • If your digital camera has stopped working, you can donate it to someone who will scrap it for parts or to someone who is adept at repairing cameras.
  • Start by searching local recycling centers to inquire if they are currently accepting digital camera submissions.
  • You can also give it to a friend, or family member, or sell it online as-is via a marketplace such as eBay or Facebook.

Why Donate a Non-Functional Digital Camera?

There are many reasons why you would want to donate a digital camera that has stopped working. You can also opt to donate camera accessories like a carry bag or selfie light. Here are just a few reasons to donate your device.

They Contain Hazardous Materials

Modern digital cameras can include some hazardous materials, making them ill-suited for the regular trash bin. For instance, rechargeable batteries contain all manner of toxic materials. Donating the camera means that it will not end up in a landfill, further contaminating the planet. There is a reason, after all, why digital cameras must be recycled in most parts of the country, so as not to be added to the electronic waste pile.

Someone Can Use It

Let’s say you get a serious error message, leaving you wondering what to do when your digital camera gives you a memory error message. More than likely, your digital camera pictures are corrupted in this case. If you donate the camera instead of scrapping it, the next person down the line may be able to fix the issue and begin using the camera. Some folks are quite adept at fixing broken electronic equipment and gadgets, such as cell phones and video games. So next time you wonder why are digital camera pictures coming out pink, donate the broken camera instead of scrapping it.

Insider Tip

Be sure to troubleshoot your camera before donating it. The issue could be a small one and you could have the camera up and running again in no time.

Some Materials Have Value

Some eagle-eyed recyclers will be able to break down the camera to its raw materials. It’s almost like building a new pinhole digital camera, which can also be done with the parts. After all, a camera’s chipset typically features some gold, silver, and aluminum. Additionally, the battery can be worth a few bucks, as can a multitude of related components. It is for this reason that certain recycling centers will actually pay you for donating a digital camera, broken or not. Also, art students and artists of all stripes can make use of the camera as part of an art installation.

Where Can You Donate a Broken Digital Camera?

Luckily, you have an assortment of options when it comes to donating a non-functional digital camera. Here are just a few options.

Recycling Center

Most parts of the country feature a recycling center or two that specialize in electronic recycling. Perform a web search with your zip code to find any drop-off locations near you. These recycling centers often also accept household appliances and various types of household electronics. Be sure to call or email ahead to make sure they are currently accepting submissions. Also, while some of these centers will pay you a few bucks for donating a used digital camera, others may actually charge a few bucks for the service.

Give to a Friend

If you have any friends or family members that are good at fixing electronics, think about donating the camera to them. Repairing the broken camera could make for a nice weekend project and you’ll feel good knowing you reached out to someone you care about. Talk to them ahead of time to ensure they want to undertake a repair job, as they may already have a functional digital camera and would have no need for a broken one.

Sell for Parts

Instead of donating the camera, you can always sell it or give it away online for parts. There are many ways to list a broken digital camera online, such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and more. Just be clear in your listing and description. Mention whatever issues the camera is facing and that it will likely have to be repaired or stripped for components. Also, be responsive when people inquire, so as to make the whole process go smoothly.


Do not simply throw a broken camera in the trash. These electronic devices often include toxic materials and, as such, should be taken to a dedicated recycling center.


How can you safely dispose of out-of-date electronic devices?

You can start by contacting local government agencies to inquire about recycling requirements. If the recycling bin is not a good option for your area, call around to find a dedicated electronics recycling center.

Is my donation deductible?

It is certainly possible. Ask the recycling center if they are set up as a nonprofit corporation. If so, you will be able to write off and deduct the donation of a digital camera or any gadget.

What are some effective methods for removing data from your device?

Most digital cameras save to a memory card. Be sure to remove this card before donating to a recycling facility.

STAT: A United Nations study reported that 53.6 million tons of e-waste were discarded in 2019, and only 17.4 percent of it was disposed of properly. (source)

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