Recycling Your Old Computers

Recycling Your Old Computers

You just purchased a new computer but might be in a quandary because you still have 2-3 old computers stuffed into your closet and have no idea where to take them. First of all, congratulations on not tossing them into the trash! They contain many toxic materials including mercury, lead and cadmium.

So, what to do with your old relics? Fortunately, there are now several options. Dell has now made it incredibly simply to get rid of your old electronics.  They are now combining their efforts with Goodwill and recycle all of your old televisions, VCRS, telephones, printers and computers when you drop them off at a Goodwill donation center.

If you don’t have a Goodwill drop station nearby, here are some other options. ~ Offer your old electronics on this site but remember to wipe off your old data. ~ Sometimes you can sell your smaller devices on this website. Please do not get caught up in waiting to post for money. Be realistic and determine whether it is worth your energy to try to sell or better just to let them go quickly. ~ This large non-profit organization will give your used computer a second career after a small tune-up. They refurbish computers and give them to local charities and schools.,, ~ These computer manufacturers will recycle for free under some conditions.

Staples Stores ~ they recycle old computers and peripherals for a small fee. ~ Recycle laptops, monitors and small TV’s for a $10 fee which goes towards for a $10 in-store gift card. Some gadgets are free to recycle here. ~ Information posted by the Consumer Electronics Association ~ this agency requires recyclers to pledge not to ship e-waster to third world countries.

Whatever avenue you choose, just do it. Give yourself a deadline and stick to it.  Your closet space is too precious to store old useless computers!

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4 Responses to Recycling Your Old Computers

  1. Good article. Do you have advice regarding wiping clean the hard drive before donating / recycling? How can a person be sure their data is not still on there? This is probably why a lot of people don’t readily get rid of computers.

    • Kathi says:

      Hi Brenda,
      Here is a bit of info about wiping out your data:

      If you feel like tearing your computer apart, here are destruction methods that really work. All these involve destroying the hard drive platters (which are made of aluminum or glass):

      * Hammer the drive flat.
      * Put it through a press.
      * Remove the platters and destroy them through crushing, melting, grinding. (They also make good coffee coasters.)
      * Put a few nails through the drive (six inch nails work great – but make sure you’re not fixing the drive to your floor while destroying it).
      * Shoot the drive – I don’t recommend this, but I’ve seen some sites that do.

      Take your pick or come up with another method that achieves the same end (that is, bend or break the platters).

      If you prefer to insert a disc and let it work for you, pay $19.95 for this software program from White Canyon:

  2. Pat says:

    Hi, too add to the list, the VA second shop on Coast Blvd., in Oceanside, takes old computers, etc.

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