If you’re like me and you have an old desktop or laptop computer in your garage, or one that is taking up space like an antique clock in your office, you should consider donating that old computer to one of the recycling programs describe below.
Perhaps the most accessible place for recycling your computer is through Best Buy”˜s e-cycle program. Best Buy accepts all old/unwanted consumer electronics, including desktop and laptop computers, for free. However, it does charge $10 for computers with a monitor of 32″ and under. Best Buy that consumers will “instantly receive a $10 Best Buy gift card in exchange for the recycling fee.”
Best Buy delivers the recycled items to one of its third-party logistics, which in turn determines if donated items can be re-purposed or recycled.
Before you take your computer the store, the contents (all files and personal data) of the hard drive must be erased. You can pay a Best Buy Geek Squad agent to do this for you, or you can do it yourself. Check out this Geek Squad tutorial video about disposing of your hard drive, and also this MUO article on “How to Completely & Securely Erase Your Hard Drive [Windows]”
Best Buy also partners with other recycling programs for other e-waste and electronic equipment, including TVs, CDs/DVDs, appliances, inkjet cartridges, and rechargeable batteries.
If you want to make sure that the computer(s) you denote finds a new home for reuse, check out the non-profit National Cristina Foundation, which “directs donations of used computer equipment to registered non-profit organizations, schools, and public agencies throughout the United States,” for purposes of job training, at risk students, people with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged people.
This Foundation does not charge for accepting donations, but it does have some specific requirements for what it will accept. It particularly wants Penitum III and Higher CPUs, and complete hardware systems for PCs and Mac Desktops. Specific requirements are listed here.
The Silicon Valley Recycling Used Technology program accepts desktop and laptop computers, monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, hardware components and other related items, which it repairs and in turn provides to K-16 schools for use and learning purposes.
You can drop off your computer at their center or make arrangements by calling 510-979-7479.
Dell Reconnect “accepts any brand of computer equipment in any condition from consumers and recycles it for free.” More information about what it accepts can be found.
Similar to Best Buy, Dell Reconnect has over 2,000 donation locations in the U.S. for which you can drop off your equipment. Dell Reconnect insures that donated, environmentally sensitive material is not hauled off to landfills. It works with Goodwill, which provides reusable computer equipment to its “job training, employment placement services and other community-basd programs for people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges.”
If you, your company, university, library, or organization has a significant amount of computer equipment to donate, World Computer Exchange works to get such equipment to “570 of Partner organizations in 71 developing countries.”
How you can help, and the specific computers World Computer Exchange is looking for are listed. It currently has throughout the U.S, which can be contacted to accept your donations.
The above programs and organizations are making it easy for us to not simply haul off our unused, idle computers to landfills or even to our basements or closets. If you know of other programs that accept donations of computers and related equipment, let us know about it.
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